Tax abatements are a method for adjusting a property’s taxes by changing the market value or classification associated with that property. These changes are almost always made to correct clerical errors that were not discovered until the taxes were billed.
A tax abatement is a formal, written request, made to Blue Earth County. It requires the applicant to complete a form, available from the Taxpayer Services department. Visit our office in the Historic Courthouse to pick up an application, call (507) 304-4251 or submit an email for more information.
Tax abatements cannot be used to replace the normal appeals process. There is ample time and avenues to appeal the property’s market value and classification. Property owners should be aware of this process, which starts in the spring of each year, and should follow it to resolve any concerns promptly.
The Abatement Process
Your application for abatement must be approved by the Taxpayer Services department based on the county's abatement policy. In cases of large abatements, county board approval may be necessary.
When to File an Abatement
Abatements are filed in the year the taxes are due in most cases. They can be filed for an additional two-year period if the applicant can prove a clerical error was made or if there was a valid hardship that prevented the owner from appealing sooner. A clerical error is typically a data entry or mathematical error. A data error which is an error in the data the county is using for your property is not a clerical error. New information provided after the assessment is not a clerical error. Examples of events that are not hardships include:
- An inability to pay the taxes
- Forgetting to file paperwork timely
- Divorce or separation
Damaged or Destroyed Property
If your property’s buildings have been unintentionally or accidentally destroyed due to a natural disaster or destroyed due to arson or vandalism by someone other than the owner, you may be eligible for property tax relief through an abatement, as well. Continue reading for more information.