St. Louis County Board eliminates fees for assessmentsThe St. Louis County Board voted, 6-0, today in Ely to eliminate fees charged to cities and townships that use the county assessors for figuring property values.
By: News Tribune staff, Duluth News Tribune
The St. Louis County Board voted, 6-0, today in Ely to eliminate fees charged to cities and townships that use the county assessors for figuring property values.
Duluth, Hibbing and more than a dozen townships recently have moved to the county system. The board’s elimination of fees is expected to make it easier for the last few cities and 29 townships that still conduct their own assessments for property tax purposes.
County officials have been moving the past two years to encourage a single, uniform assessment system rather than the consulted efforts of the past that saw county, city, township and private contract assessors in the field. That led to a mismatch of assessment values, with some properties overvalued, some undervalued and some missed. County officials say a single system will help move toward a system where every property owner pays his or her fair share of taxes.
The move is expected to cost the county about $1.3 million in lost revenue in 2014. But county administration and commissioners say they can cover that with little to no tax increase. The County Board has set a maximum tax increase of 1.5 percent. That number can go down, but not up, when the board sets the final number in December.