Measuring the Level of Assessment
Levels of assessment for all areas of St. Louis County are monitored through the use of sales ratio studies. These studies are conducted annually by the Assessor's Department and the Minnesota Department of Revenue.
Sales ratio studies are based on current real estate transactions. Each transaction is screened by the Assessor to exclude those that do not represent an open market sale between a willing buyer and seller within the study period.
The studies are based on classification. Residential properties are grouped together, as are other classes such as commercial or rural vacant land.
Each open market sale is placed in the appropriate study and sorted according to its sales ratio. A sales ratio for a property is found by dividing the assessor's market value by the property's sales price.
EXAMPLE: A property with a sales price of $100,000 and a current market value of $90,000 would have a sales ratio of 90,000/100,000, or 90 percent.
At the end of a study period, the Assessor analyzes all sales included in the study. The individual sales ratios are ordered from lowest to highest, and the median ratio is determined. The median ratio is used to measure the level of assessment for a study area.
EXAMPLE: In this sales ratio study consisting of seven sales, the median ratio is 98 percent.
In general, the assessment level is deemed acceptable if the median ratio falls between 90 and 105 percent. If the ratio falls outside of this range, and at least six sales occurred during the study period, market values within the study area will be adjusted by the Assessor or the Minnesota Department of Revenue.