N E W S R E L E A S E
May 10, 2011
Mark Monacelli, Director
Public Records & Property Valuation
St. Louis County Courthouse
Duluth, MN 218-726-2675
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
St. Louis County Board Establishes “Blue Ribbon”
Assessment Practices Review Panel
In keeping with the goal of a property valuation model that is timely, uniform and fair, the St. Louis County Board today announced the formation of a “Blue Ribbon” Panel to review the various property assessment practices throughout the county. Panel members are charged with completing a thorough analysis of county wide property assessment functions including, but not limited to:
◦ A review of the state statutes that govern property assessment and classification.
◦ A review of the current model that uses city, contract and county assessors.
◦ Recommend areas of opportunity to share services and create partnerships with other government jurisdictions
◦ A review of the technology tools and recommend areas of opportunity to streamline service delivery
◦ Prepare a comprehensive 5-year strategic plan to St. Louis County December 31, 2011, to build upon the goal of a timely, uniform and fair assessment and valuation model.
Assessing property values is an essential component of Minnesota’s property tax system. Property assessments define the tax base and consequently who pays what share of the overall property tax levy. If some properties’ valuations are too high, those property owners will pay more than their fair share of property taxes. Conversely, if some properties’ valuations are too low, those owners will pay less than their fair share.
When property is valued correctly in all jurisdictions, the property tax burden is distributed equitably, as defined by the Legislature. In order to establish a solid foundation for the future, the “Blue Ribbon” Assessment Practices Review Panel has been established to ensure that St. Louis County’s property valuation system is timely, uniform, and fair.
Each of the seven county commissioners have appointed one Panel member, and an additional six citizens have been appointed as At-Large representatives. Commissioner appointees by commissioner district are:
District 1, John Heino: President/CEO Como Oil, President of Duluth Economic Development Authority (DEDA)
District 2, John Gellatly: City of Duluth Assessor, former Principle Appraiser for St. Louis County and Computer Assisted Mass Appraisal (CAMA) expert
District 3, John Vigen: Real Estate Appraiser, St. Louis County Board of Equalization member
District 4, Roger Skraba: Mayor or Ely, Small Business owner, past member of the St. Louis County Board of Equalization
District 5, Jim Aird: Real Estate Broker, Midway Town Board Supervisor
District 6, Dawn Cole: Real Estate Appraiser, St. Louis County Board of Equalization member, former township contract appraiser
District 7, Frank Bigelow: Real Estate Appraiser, Hibbing City Council member, St. Louis County Board of Equalization member and former City of Hibbing Assessor
At Large Appointments are:
Steve Abrahamson: Mayor of Tower, Real Estate Appraiser
Jim Fisher, McDavitt Town Board Supervisor, Minnesota Association of Township Officers, President of the National Association of Township Officers Association
Fran Hubert: Former Hermantown City Council member, owner of Fran Hubert & Associates - small business accounting consultant, business editorial writer for the Hermantown Star Newspaper, Hermantown Historical Society Board
Jan Jackson: Township contract appraiser, Minnesota State Board of Assessors
Jerry Palmquist: Balkan Town Board Supervisor
Rick Puhek: City of Virginia Assessor
Bruce Sandberg: City of Hibbing Assessor
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