Director of Tax Equalization

Director of Tax Equalization

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Director of Tax Equalization
Jackie Steinmetz 
P.O. Box 263 
Carson, ND 58529 
jsteinmetz@nd.gov
Phone: (701) 622-3311
Fax: (701) 622-3005

Office Hours: Monday - Friday 
8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.


The Director of Equalization office oversees the property tax assessment function for Grant County. In addition to assisting the public, we advise the Grant County Commission concerning valuation, taxation, and assessment issues. We also administer the mobile home tax collection function. 

This page contains information about the Assessment Process, Exemptions, Homestead Credit, Mobile Homes, and Appeals.


ASSESSMENT PROCESS

The property tax is an ad valorem tax, a tax based upon value. It is the primary means by which local government pays for services it provides such as police and fire protection, schools, roads, parks, courts, etc. It involves two separate processes, the assessment process and the budget process. After these processes are completed, the county auditor calculates the appropriate mill rate for each Taxing District ( Township, School, Fire, etc.) and those rates are applied to each taxable property, by multiplying the taxable value times the mill rate to determine the property tax. 

All real property is subject to taxation, unless expressly exempted by law. The appraisal process begins with identifying, listing, and valuing all real property located within Grant County. The appraisal process is a systematic and logical method of collecting, analyzing and processing data into an estimate of value. An appraisal is an estimate of value of an adequately described property on a specific date. 

All property is valued according to its value on February 1st of each year. All real property is valued at True and Full Value. For residential and commercial property, True and Full Value can also be referred to as market value. It is the value most people would likely pay for a given property in its present condition. For agricultural value, True and Full Value equals its productivity value as defined by North Dakota statute. 

The assessor must notify property owners when the valuation increases more than 10% of True and Full Value. In April of each year, the assessor's assessments are reviewed by the city or township boards of equalization. Within the first ten (10) days of June, the county reviews the assessments of cities and townships. During August of each year, the State Board of Equalization reviews the assessments as finalized by the various counties. 

The assessor ensures that everyone shares equitably in the total burden of property by the fair and accurate valuation of property within the county. Although the assessor's valuation on the property does not determine the total amount of taxes paid, it does affect the uniform distribution of the property tax burden. 

The Tax Director's Office also monitors sales of property to conduct statistical studies for assessment accuracy and assessment equality. Majority of the sales information is available to the public.

EXEMPTIONS
New or expanding business projects- may be granted an exemption for up to five years, in addition to extensions. Please contact your local County Director of Equalization office for additional information, as the rules are somewhat complex. You can also visit the State Tax Commissioner's website

Disabled Veteran Exemption- A disabled Veteran of the United States Armed Forces with an armed forces service-connected disability of fifty percent or greater, who was discharged under honorable conditions or who has been retired from the armed forces of the United States, or the non remarried surviving spouse if the disabled veteran is deceased, is eligible for a credit applied against the first one hundred twenty thousand dollars of true and full valuation of the fixtures, buildings, and improvements of the person's homestead equal to the percentage of the disable veteran's disability compensation rating for service- connected disabilities as certified by the department of veterans affairs for the purpose of applying for a property tax exemption. 

If two disabled veterans are married to each other and living together, their combined credits may not exceed one hundred percent of the one hundred twenty thousand dollars of true and full value. 

When applying for the cred for the first time, the disabled veteran or the non remarried spouse will file a copy of their DD214 showing the veteran's honorable discharge from active military service. Provide a certificate form the Department of Veterans Affairs certifying to the percentage of service-connected disability. 

When requested to do so a person shall furnish to the assessment official any information that changes the status of the service-connected disability. 

Permanently and Totally Disabled Persons Permanently Confined to Use of a Wheelchair- "Permanently Confined to use of a wheelchair" means "that the person cannot walk with the assistance of crutches or any other device and will never be able to do so and that a physician.. has so certified." The same reduction is assessed valuation applies whether the homestead is owned by the spouse or jointly owned by the person's non remarried surviving spouse. Income and assets are not considered in determining eligibility. The exemption does not reduce liability for special assessments. 

Blind Exemptions 
Residential homes owned by the blind person and their spouse shall also be exempt within the limits of this subsection as long as the blind person resides in the home. A blind person shall be defined as one who is totally blind, has visual acuity of not more than 20/200 in the better eye with correction, or whose vision is limited in the field so that the widest diameter subtends and angle no greater than twenty degrees. When claiming the exemption for the first time this office requires a letter form an ophthalmologist. 

Farm Buildings Exemption- Farm buildings and improvements located on agricultural lands are exempt from taxation provided they are used as part of a farm plant. A residence is exempt if is is situated on a farm and is occupied or used by an individual who is a farmer. It need not be owned by the farmer. The term farm means a single tract or contiguous tracts of agricultural land containing a minimum of 10 acres which are normally used for farming or ranching. The term farmer means an individual who normally devotes the major portions of the individual's time to the activities of producing manufactured products of the soil, poultry, livestock, or dairy products. The farmer and spouse, if married, must have received more than fifty percent of their combined annual net income from farming activities in any one year of the three preceding calendar years, whether one or both are farmers. The exemption also includes an individual who is a retired farmer or beginning farmer. 

Personal Property Exemption- Generally speaking, most personal property is exempt. 

     The Exemptions listed above are not all inclusive. Most exemptions are listed in the NDCC 57-02-08. Please contact Grant County Director of Equalization for additional information and application forms. Additional information is available at the website for the State Tax Commissioner. 
HOMESTEAD CREDIT PROGRAM

Homeowners who are 65 years of age or older or who are permanently and totally disabled may be entitled to a property tax credit. Qualifications include an annual income less medical expenses of $26,000 or less (including Social Security and pensions) and assets of $75,000 or less (excluding the first unencumbered $100,000 value of homestead). The applicant must reside on and have an interest in the property for which the credit is claimed. 
The homestead credit will reduce the homeowner's taxable value according to the following schedule:
 
If your income isTaxable value is reduced byMax reduction of taxable valueMax reduction of true and full value
$0-22,000 100% $5,625 $120,000
$22,001-26,000 80% $4,500 $100,000
$26,001-30,000 60% $3,375 $75,000
$30,001-34,000 40% $2,250 $50,000
$34,001-38,000 20% $1,125 $25,000
$38,001-42,000 10% $563 $12,511
 
In addition, the homeowner may qualify for a special assessment credit which becomes a lien against the property and must be repaid when the property is sold.

Disabled Person Requirements
You must be permanently and totally disabled person. Proof of total disability must be established with a certificate from a licensed physician, or a written determination of disability from the social security administration. You may be either a homeowner or a renter. There is no age requirement for the permanently and totally disabled applicant. A disabled homeowner must meet the same requirements, except for age, as a senior citizen homeowner.
For additional information and applications, please contact the Grant County Director of Equalization office.
Renters may also be entitled to rent refund under this program. Those who qualify may receive rent refunds up to $400 if 20% of the rent they pay exceeds 4% of their income. Renters apply tot he Office of State Tax Commissioner for this refund.
Additional information on the program is also available a the State Tax Commissioner's website.

MOBILE HOMES
Definition of a Mobile Home
According to North Dakota Century Code 57-55-01
A mobile home is defined as a structure built on a permanent chassis, ordinarily designed for living quarters, used a residence or place of business and is either attached to public utility services or is 27 feet or more in length. The structure may be single or multi-sectional and used on temporary or permanent basis.
All mobile home owners are required to register their mobile home. Registration forms are available through this office, after you have received a registration form you have 10 days to return the completed form
Properties That May Be Exempt from Mobile Home Tax are those:
  • Owned & used as a residence of a non resident while on active military duty
  • Owned & used as residence of disabled veteran or non remarried surviving spouse (the disability percentage has to be 50% or greater)
  • Owned & used as residence of totally & permanently disabled person or non remarried surviving spouse
  • Owned & used as residence of a blind person
  • Owned & used as residence by homestead credit applicant
 
Structures Not Subject to Mobile Home Taxation
  • Trailer with current travel trailer license
  • Park model trailer
  • Farm residence (permanently attached to the ground)
  • Structure permanently attached to a foundation (the owner of the mobile home and the land have to be the same). Structure is then taxed as Real Estate.
  • Structure owned by mobile home dealer for resale
Dates that Taxes are Due and Delinquent
  • January 10th is when the mobile home taxes are due
  • If paid in full by February 15th there is a 5% discount
  • March 1st the taxes become delinquent
  • Taxes are due within 10 days after a mobile home is purchased or first moved into North Dakota
  • The treasurer allows a 5% discount if the taxes are paid in full within 30 days after purchase date or date moved into North Dakota
  • The tax becomes delinquent if not paid within 40 days and is subject to a 1% and a 1/2% interest for each full and fractional month of delay
  • If your mobile hoe taxes are $40.00 or more, they may be paid in two installments;
                        1st installment due on January 10th 
                          Delinquent on March 1st 
                          Subject to 2% penalty and additional 2% penalty added on April 1, May 1, and June 1
                        2nd installment due June 1st 
                           Delinquent on July 1st 
                           Subject to 2% penalty, additional 2%penalty added on August 1, Sept. 1, and October 1
  • Taxes may be prorated if the mobile home is acquired or first moved into North Dakota during the calendar year.
  • Mobile home taxes are paid for in advance, which means that they are paid for the current year.
  • Failure to pay your mobile home taxes can result int he loss of your home.
  • In October a list of delinquent mobile home tax owners is brought over to the sheriff's department.
  • Collection of delinquent taxes is then made by the sheriff who gives the owners a warning.
  • Usually in December, if there are any mobile homes with delinquent taxes, these mobile homes are up for auction.
Moving Permits
  • Before a moving permit can be issued the mobile home taxes need to be paid in full.
  • A moving permit is required whether you are moving your mobile home within Grant County or out of Grant County.
  • The display of the permit must be on the rear of the mobile home during transport to the new location, even if the mobile home is exempt from taxes.
  • A fine of $10,000 - $500.00 will be imposed if these provisions are violated.
 
APPEALING YOUR PROPERTY ASSESSMENT
 
If there is a time when you believe that the assessment on your property is excessive you may appeal the valuation.
INFORMAL
The first and simplest process is the informal. Contact your local assessor and ask to have your property reevaluated. The office will send out an assessor to reappraise your property. The appraisal will be reviewed and the assessor will inform the owner of the appraisal. If needed the assessment may be corrected.
If you don't get any satisfaction you may take your appeal tot he local board of equalization. If it is a township, they meet the 2nd Monday in April, except if the same person assesses 2 or more districts. If your property is in a City they meet the 2nd Tuesday in April. The owner will bring evidence that supports the claim.
If the assessment still remains high tot he owner after the local board has met. the owner would go to the County Board of Equalization, which meets within the first 10 days of June. The owner may appeal in person or in writing. Provide evidence to support the claim. The owner may bypass the local board of equalization and appeal directly to the County Board of Equalization.
The last step of the informal appeal process is going before the State Board of Equalization, which meets on the 2nd Tuesday in August. The State Board cannot make any adjustments to assessments if the owner did not appeal to both the local & county boards of equalization.

FORMAL
Anyone have estate, right, or interest in property who claims the assessment in excessive, invalid or illegal may file for abatement. Here are some reasons to file for abatement:
  • Assessment or tax invalid, inequitable or unjust
  • Error made in entry, description, valuation, extension of tax
  • Improvement did not exist on assessment date (February 1st)
  • Applicant had no interest in property on assessment date
  • Property is exempt
  • Taxes erroneously paid
  • Property assessed/taxed more than once in year
  • Building destroyed/damaged by fire, flood, or tornado
  • Homestead credit application filed after State Board of Equalization
  • Payment of tax under protest
The applicant has to file two copies of the abatement with the county auditor. The abatement has to be filed by November 1st of the year following the year that the tax become delinquent. The applicant authorizes an inspection of the property, attends hearings at the local and county boards, provides evidence to support claim.
The abatement is heard by the County Commissioners and they approve or disapprove the application in whole or part. If the application is rejected if must state the reasons on the back of the application.
If no satisfaction the owner may file a notice of appeal with the Clerk of District Court within 30 days of the county commissioner's decision. The district court will make the final decision based on the record of hearing by the county commission.
In either case, the burden of proof falls upon the applicant to show that the valuation is incorrect. Therefore, the applicant would need to present information showing that the assessment is not correct.
For additional information, you may contact our office or visit the Office of State Tax Commissioner Website pages 7-8 of the Taxpayer Bill of Rights. You can also download the abatement application form at this site.
 
 

© 2018 Grant County, ND 106 2nd Ave NE, Carson, North Dakota, Business hours: 8:00 AM - 12:00 PM and 12:30 PM - 4:00 PM Monday-Friday

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