A little tax relief

Many Minot homeowners won’t see an increase in their property assessments this year, which is something that hasn’t happened for a long time.

Homeowners who haven’t made improvements or had other adjustments based on individual circumstances likely will see their assessments decline. The median decrease in assessment was about 1 percent for most residential properties, according to the annual report from the city assessor’s office.

The assessments are declining because sales prices for homes in Minot have stabilized or gone down. Commercial property in Minot still is selling for about 15 percent more than assessed values, which will trigger increases in assessed values of many of those properties to comply with the guidelines.

Among house sales, Minot city assessor records show a median sale price of $232,500 in 2013 on 630 sales not in the flood zone, which is down from $239,000 on 797 sales in 2012. That’s about a 3 percent decrease in selling price.

Minot Multiple Listing, which has a somewhat different sales base, recorded a median home sale price of $220,000 in Minot in 2013, down from $236,000 in 2012, or about 7 percent. These sales also did not include unrepaired, flooded homes.

On March 20, Minot Multiple Listing records showed only two homes for sale under $100,000 that were not unrepaired flooded homes and 56 under $200,000, the assessor’s office reported. Average days on the market in 2013 was 113, which was similar to 2012. The highest residential sale price was $625,000, compared to $675,000 the previous year.

Even with the decline or stabilization of assessments, the assessor’s office mailed a few thousand notices to homeowners of assessment increases of 10 percent or more. These increases largely were due to home improvements or recording of new homes on the tax rolls.

Minot city council members will meet as the Board of Equalization to address issues that residents might have about their assessments on Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. in City Hall.

Since 2003, the median value of residential property a property in the middle of the valuation range of Minot homes has risen from $79,400 to $190,000, or 139 percent.

This year’s drop in assessed values comes after a decade of increases ranging from 4 percent in 2008 to 13 percent in 2013. The average increase was 10 percent in 2005, 2006 and again in 2012. It was 9.5 percent in 2006, 8.5 percent in 2009, 7 percent in 2007 and 6 percent in 2011.

The assessor’s report presented information showing that taxes have increased 33 percent from 2003 to 2013, or about 3.3 percent a year, on a median assessed value home. After subtracting the state’s 12 percent discount, the actual increase paid on a median assessed value home in 2013 was 17 percent more than paid on a median assessed value home in 2003, or about $275.