The amount you pay in property taxes is largely based on the market value of your property. Simply put, market value is the price that your property would sell for if placed on the open market.
Law requires that assessors view each parcel of real estate to determine its market value. Property values are continuously affected by changing market conditions, as well as numerous physical changes, such as additions or remodeling.
The assessor also determines the classification, or use, of each parcel. For instance, property may be residential homestead (owner-occupied), residential non-homestead, commercial, and so on. Each classification is taxed at a different percentage of market value.
Approximately every five years, an appraiser will view your property. Value and classification of real estate must be established on January 2 each year. The City Assessor's Office works throughout the year to estimate the market value of each property for the following January 2 assessment.
An appraiser will also view your property if a building permit has been issued during a given year. Your property's new value is then calculated for January 2 following the construction.
The appraiser gathers information on all characteristics of the property that affect market value, such as size, age, quality, basement finish, and extra features, such as fireplaces, walkout basements, etc.
Each year the assessor analyzes actual sales of property within the city. Sales in a 12-month time period preceding the January 2 assessment (from October 1 to September 30), are reviewed to determine what properties have sold for on the open market. These sales are used as a guide to help determine 'what similar properties would likely sell for' if they were placed on the market.
The characteristics are entered into a computerized appraisal system and the computer calculates the property's value. The market value estimated by the appraiser in this way should be very close to the amount the property would sell for if placed on the open market.
The State Board of Equalization requires the overall level of assessment to be between 90-105% of market value. The City of Hopkins consistently meets the State Board's requirement.
Notices are mailed out by Hennepin County around the end of March every year. This valuation is the basis for taxes the following year. For example, your home's assessed value in 2011 will determine the taxes you pay in 2012.
If you believe your property value to be incorrect, you can appeal your property valuation.
Basic information for any property located in Hennepin County, such as market value, taxes, owner, and sales data may be accessed from the Hennepin County website.