Property Tax: Special Assessments

Special Assessments

In an effort to offer a more comprehensive comparison on how the cities and towns in our Residential Homestead Property Tax Survey raise revenue, the Citizens League has added data this year on special assessments. Although special assessments are not property taxes, they are charges that are applied to property based on the benefit to the property from infrastructure such as water and sewer service, sidewalks, or curbs and gutters. To compare cities and towns, we have calculated special assessments on a per capita basis. Special assessment data represents revenue raised from all types of property, not just residential homesteads.
Special Assessments for 2006 and 2001-2006 (Excel)

We have also grouped the cities by city clusters developed by the House Research Department and the League of Minnesota. City clusters are based on:

  • Whether the city is located in or outside the metro area
  • Population
  • Population Growth
  • Median Household Income
  • Per Capita Commercial/Industrial Property Market Value

Table 3 of the 2007 Property Tax Review also groups residential homestead property taxes by these city clusters. The cluster analysis was only done for cities, so townships make up their own cluster.

Each county provides this data to the Department of Revenue. The amount is what each city or town levied in special assessments from 2001-2006. Since there are different ways that special assessments can be paid, this is not the actual amount collected in each year, but is a more accurate way to look at the trend in how much a city or town is using special assessments.

Property Tax Facts Project

The Citizens League, through our Minnesota Anniversary Project, partnered with the League of Minnesota Cities to find out from citizens: What do Minnesotans really want to know about their property taxes?