Tax Relief

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FAIRMONT – As it’s tax season, it’s important to note that there may be property tax relief for residents of Martin County. Michael Sheplee, County Assessor, shared some information from the Minnesota Department of Revenue.

“We’re in a season of market values ​​and property tax changes that are significant and unusual. There is potential relief for certain property owners and renters to receive some property tax relief,” Sheplee said.

He said the Department of Revenue has three programs. The first is a regular property tax refund. It may be limited by income and Sheplee said it may apply more to renters.

The second is a special property tax refund which Sheplee estimates will apply to more people. It has no limitations when it comes to income but you have to own your property and live in it.

“If your property taxes have changed more than 12 percent, you can get a refund up to $1,000,” Sheplee said.

The third program isn’t a refund, but a program for senior citizens. Sheplee said they hear from some who are concerned they’re being taxed out of their house. He said this program defers taxes through a loan from the state.

“There’s some qualifications for that, age and income and they have to have lived in the home while,” Sheplee said.

Sheplee reached out to the Department of Revenue which estimates there was $300,000 in unclaimed homestead credit funds in Martin County in 2019, which was the most recent data available. However, it’s an ongoing program so there’s likely similar availability now.

An estimated two-thirds, or 970, of eligible participants in the county did file and received $624,000 for an average refund of $643.

“There’s still about 300 people who could potentially file,” Sheplee said.

He said filing for the refund is something that could be done on an annual basis, especially if someone’s property taxes increased by 12 percent or more.

For more resources, Sheplee is driving people to the county website at co.martin.us. Under “Your Government” they can click on Assessor and then there’s a link labeled Property Tax Refund that will bring people to the Minnesota Department of Revenue page.

“They can do their research from there,” Sheplee said.

He said people typically have their tax preparer fill out the form when they get their taxes done but anyone can do it. He suggests people check with their tax preparer to see if it was done.

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