Assessor Homepage

Gregory A. Kramber
County Assessor

Randal L. DesMarais
Asst County Assessor

Wright County Assessor
10 2nd St NW Room 240
Buffalo, MN 55313

Phone: 763-682-7367
Fax: 763-684-4553

Important Links
MN Dept of Revenue
MN Tax Court
MN Property Tax Statutes

Understanding your property assessment
What does the Assessor do?
What is market value?
How does the Assessor determine market value?

Understanding Your Property Assessment

In Minnesota, property taxes provide most of the funding for local government services. Wright County collects the taxes and distributes the money between the county, cities, townships, school districts and special districts. Each property’s share of taxes is determined according to its value, classification, tax capacity rate, and the property tax levies. Assessors are responsible for estimating property values and determining property classification for tax purposes.

What does the Assessor do?

  • Estimates Value
    The law specifically requires that assessors view each parcel of real estate to appraise its market value. Property values change continuously with changing economic conditions. In addition to market changes, numerous physical changes affect the value of land and buildings. All factors that may influence value must be considered when estimating the value of property. This task requires a physical inspection of all property subject to assessment.
  • Classifies Property
    The assessor also determines the classification or use of each parcel. For instance, property may be residential Homestead (owner-occupied), relative residential homestead (relative of owner is occupant), residential non-homestead, agricultural, or commercial/industrial. Each classification is taxed and receives credits at a different percentage of market value. These percentages are set by the State Legislature.
  • Accepts Applications for Property Tax Credits
    The Minnesota property tax law provides certain credits or forms of special tax relief, one of the more common being the Homestead Credit. Applications for Homestead-Classification; Application for Tax Exemption; Application for Agricultural Tax and Special Assessment Deferment; Applications for Special Disability Classification are among programs of interest to property owners. Please call the Assessor’s office if you think you may qualify.

What is Market Value?

Minnesota Statute 272.03 defines "market value" as "the usual selling price . . . at the time of assessment". It is "the price that could be obtained at a private sale or an auction sale, if the assessor determines that the price from an auction sale represents an arms-length transaction. The price obtained at a forced sale shall not be considered". In other words . .

Market Value = the most probable price that would prevail
under competitive, open-market conditions.

How does the Assessor determine market value?

State law requires that the value and classification of real estate be established as of January 2 each year. The Assessor’s Office works throughout the year to estimate the market value of each property for the following January 2 assessment date.

  • Views Property
    Approximately every fifth year, an appraiser will view the property. In addition, all new construction, alterations or improvements will be viewed in the current year.
  • Gathers Information
    The appraiser gathers information on all characteristics of the property that affect market value, such as size, age, quality, basement finish, and also extra features such as fireplaces, extra baths, walkouts, etc.
  • Estimates Value
    The property characteristics are entered into a computerized system. The computer aids the appraiser in estimating the property value. Information from actual sales is used to update the computer model and set the table schedules which are used to update your market value. The market value estimated by the assessor should be at, or very close to, the amount the property would sell for if placed on the open market. The State Board of Equalization requires the overall level of assessment to be between 90% and 105% of market value. Assessors in Wright County consistently meet this standard.
  • Notification
    A Value Notice is mailed each spring to every property owner in Wright County. The assessment on January 2 forms the basis for the following year’s real estate taxes. That is, the value and classification set by the Assessor on January 2, 2014, is used to calculate the taxes payable in the year 2015.

If you have any questions regarding this information, please contact our office.