Moose Lake Star Gazette - Serving Carlton and Pine Counties Since 1895

By Dan Reed
Moose Lake Star-Gazette 

Carlton County tax base continues to rise


Few Carlton County taxpayers attended the Local Boards of Review to contest, or at least ask questions, about their estimated market value for the buildings and land they own. Land values continue to improve with a typical 40 acre piece valued at $1,900/acre which is a 6.5% increase from last year.

The County Board of Appeal & Equalization, made up of the current County Commissioners, met on June 17 with only one home owner from the City of Carlton appearing in person about his property value. Most concerned property taxpayers had come to an agreement with the Assessor’s Office before the meeting.

The Assessor’s Office mailed out 26,343 assessment notices for the 2019 cycle. Overall Carlton County market value has increased approximately $106,146,100 which includes $27,409,400 of new construction value. The total estimated market value for all of Carlton County for 2019 is $3,215,000,000.

Most of improved parcels increased in value 3-5% except for a big rise of values in Perch Lake Township. Their land values increased 18% and buildings rose about 20% in value. This followed a trend in Cloquet and Scanlon where values had increased about that same amount in a two year span. The supply of homes in Carlton County listed for sale and available for purchase is at an all-time low.

No State mandated changes for increases or decreases occurred this year. Cases pending in State Tax Court with Enbridge Energy, Great Lakes Gas, and Lake Country Power may impact the over-all taxes paid in Carlton County – the extent of the impact is not known at this time.

The impact of the Veterans Exclusion continues to grow. State law requires the counties to set aside veteran property or property of their widows and not use them for taxable market value. This year $40,000,000 in value was lost for property tax revenue without reimbursement from the State. This exclusion continues to climb by about $2 million/year.

Over 20,600 acres are now in Class 2c Managed Forest Land which is used to ensure a forest product supply for the area wood industry.

The single largest potential private investment in Carlton County is the proposed Line 3 construction. The new line will significantly add to the over-all County tax base.

Many of the cities and townships do not have a local Board of Review and are scheduled for what is called an Open Book meeting at the Assessor’s Office with the local board not in attendance. Jurisdictions using this process are Cloquet, Barnum City, Carlton, Moose Lake City, Scanlon, Wright, Automba, Mahtowa, Split Rock, and Holyoke.

During the back and forth discussion of assessment issues, Assessor Kyle Holmes commented, “Taxes in the city of Carlton are 20% higher than in the neighboring Twin Lakes Township. City services are covered by that extra revenue although not all homes in the city limits are hooked to water, sewer, and natural gas service.”

He also remarked, “When properties are, as in the case this year, hit with an across the board 5% increase in estimated market value, homes of higher value see their valuation in dollars jump much higher than an average local dwelling.”


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