The Shopko Hometown store in Kasson is for sale for about $4.4 million. Dodge County values the land and building at about $1.5 million. Shopko is disputing the county’s valuation, and the case is scheduled for the state tax court in April, 2018. This photo was taken about six weeks before the store opened in November 2014. Photo by Gretta Becay
By Gretta Becay
At the commissioners' meeting May 9, Director of Land Records Ryan DeCook explained that the county has received scheduling orders from the state tax court for two cases for April 2018. (Scheduling orders lay out the schedule of proceedings for a given case.)
McNeilus Truck and Manufacturing Inc. and Shopko Stores Operating Co., LLC disagree with the market values set by the county saying the values are greater than the "actual market value."
One year ago, the Commissioners agreed to hire Marc Manderscheid, a real estate tax attorney from the law firm of Briggs and Morgan in the Twin Cities, to handle the two property tax disputes.
At that time, McNeilus Truck and Manufacturing Inc. (MTM) alleged that the "estimated market value is greater than the property's actual market value," and "the subject property is unequally assessed when compared with other property."
Shopko Stores Operating Co., LLC alleged that "The Assessor for the City of Kasson, County of Dodge, for the Jan. 2, 2015 assessment, placed a market value upon [the property] in an amount whereby [the property] was assessed at a valuation greater than the real, actual or market value."
Property valuations are used to determine the amount of property taxes owed, so higher valuations result in a larger tax bill.
Appraiser hired for MTM case
Before the cases go to court, the county must hire an appraiser to (in a nutshell) "estimate the fee simple market value of the property" which, in one case is MTM at 524 East Highway St, Dodge Center for Jan 2, 2015, Jan 2, 2016, and possibly Jan 2, 2017.
DeCook explained, "This is a very complex process in which the appraiser may need to defend his work in a courtroom. These are very detailed appraisals."
Read the rest of the story in the print edition of the Star Herald.