Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Anger abatement

Todd Gross, Fargo, letter: Minnesota: the land of 10,000 taxes
The Forum published Tuesday, November 27, 2007

I just received my 2008 proposed property taxes on my lake cabin in Otter Tail County in Minnesota, and I am again convinced that Minnesota is the “Land of 10,000 taxes.” The absurdity of a 15 percent increase in property values (our taxes escalated by $53,000) is only surpassed by the ludicrous greed of the county commissioners. They continue to supplant their budgets by excessively taxing nonresident cabin owners. How in the world can they justify a double-digit tax increase, when the economy is nearly at a standstill, and property values have actually stagnated, or even decreased? Secondarily, we get nothing for our excessive tax dollars; i.e., no police protection, no fire protection, no sewer and water benefits, no paved streets, no curb and gutter, and especially no use of their luxurious school systems. We simply get to enjoy the overzealous rules and regulations of government entities like the DNR, for example. I plan to file an abatement of my proposed taxes, and I would encourage all lake-cabin owners to do the same. That may not help the current situation, but it should keep the tax assessor busy enough for the next few years so that we might see a zero percent tax increase during that time. Didn’t the Pilgrims do something with tea, when they felt there was taxation without representation?

Dear Mr. Gross,
I see that you purchased an 85 foot lot with a double wide trailer on Pelican Lake in 1996 for $55,000. The 2008 valuation for the trailer went down to $55,021, the 85 feet of lake shore on Pelican went up to $306,675. Total 2008 valuation adds up to $361,696. Didn't a 50 foot lot with a double wide trailer on your beach sell for quite a bit over $400k this summer? Let's say you could sell now for $400k. You would net $345k over the 12 years you have owned it. $345k divided by twelve years is $28,750 per year, divided by twelve months is $2,396 per month.

You paid $2,186 of real estate tax in 2007.

Otter Tail County took about half that amount, ISD548 took $171 and Dunn Township $227. Otter Tail County provides you police protection, the PRFD provides you fire protection, Dunn Township provides you ambulance service and most of their roads are paved.

Please don't blame us locals or our District 2 County Commissioner Everett P. Erickson (greedy would not be a word we would use to describe PP) for the front foot valuation of Pelican Lake. Few of us can afford it.

For the fact that you still seem to able to, should one not be grateful instead of angry? Like the Pilgrims maybe?

Instead of seeking abatements I suggest you write to Bud Nornes or Dan Skogen. PP is a fun guy to talk to as well. He represents you and us well and has the best interests of his constituents at heart.

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

Don't blame the locals. We cannot afford to live on "That" lake. It looks like what you paid for what you have is not too bad. Quit complaining. There are probably others who would buy your property.

Jenn said...

"Luxurious school systems"? Look, I know I graduated a few years ago, but I'm pretty sure that our school could not be called "luxurious." PR provided me with an excellent education, but it wasn't luxury! (Nor was growing up on a teacher's salary; MN pays better than ND, but then, everyone else in the country does too.) I think paying your whopping $171 towards Pelican's schools is fair.

Anonymous said...

We don't have luxurious schools, but one thing I learned during my Minnesota school days was that the Pilgrims came to America in 1620 in pursuit of religious freedom. The American colonists held the Boston Tea Party in 1773 as a protest against taxation without representation. I don't think there were any Pilgrims at the Boston Tea Party.

Anonymous said...

I think "luxurious" was used in an ironic sense....

Viking Coach said...

I don't get the irony. . .

Anonymous said...

I believe school district's get paid per student. Your tax dollars are spread throughout the fine state of Minnesota, not just the not-so-luxerious #548.

Anonymous said...

Seems to me the assesor undervalued your lot for nearly a decade. Maybe some back taxes are due? Seriously, such a large jump would be a shock to anyone. I feel your pain but the assessed value sounds correct.