More businesses challenging property valuesMore Woodbury commercial property owners are successfully challenging the assessed value of their lots.
By: Scott Wente, Woodbury Bulletin
More Woodbury commercial property owners are successfully challenging the assessed value of their lots.
The number of property tax petitions in 2009 – 94 -- is more than double last year’s 44 petitions and triple the 2007 filings, according to city and Washington County statistics.
City officials say more commercial property owners are challenging the assessments because they can save money, settlement results lean more in their favor now than they did in years past and assessments are coming in higher than a potential selling price.
A successful petition can result in a property tax refund. Woodbury officials say those refunds, which could be for taxes paid years earlier, are making it even harder to set a city budget. Counties and the state also may be affected by the refunds.
There is no advance notice of when a settlement is reached or how much a property owner is owed for overpayment. In some cases, refunds total tens of thousands of dollars.
Nearly 9 percent of the city’s property tax base is being petitioned this year.
“We’ve collected, and we have no reserves for that,” City Administrator Clint Gridley said of potential future refunds.
Gridley has laid out a budget plan in response to the rising number of successful property tax petitions.
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