Exempt Property

Tax Exempt Properties

As a general rule, all property in Minnesota is taxable, unless the property is owned and used for qualifying exempt purposes.

The following is a partial list of common property types that may qualify for exemption from property taxes. Other possible exemptions are listed in state law.
  • Academies, colleges, and seminaries of learning
  • Churches, church property, and houses of worship
  • Institutions of purely public charity
  • Manure pits certified by the MPCA
  • Nursing homes
  • Public schools, hospitals, and burying grounds
  • Public property used exclusively for public purposes
Property receiving exemption from property taxes may still be required to pay for special assessments or other services and, in some instances, makes a payment to governments in lieu of the property tax.

Applying for Exemption

Organizations seeking exemption must file an exempt application for each parcel that may qualify. In order to receive exempt status, there must be a concurrence of ownership and use. The parcel must be used for the specified purpose for which the institution was organized. Additionally, some properties have to reapply every three years; February 1, 2019 is the next reapplication date.

At a minimum, the applicant must complete an application and provide proof to establish the eligibility for exemption. This may include:
  • Articles of incorporation
  • Copies of deeds
  • Explanation of use of the property
  • Income tax returns
  • Proof of 501(c)(3) status
Certain entities may need to supply additional documentation.


Choose one of the following three common property tax exemption types for the appropriate application. Please contact the Assessor’s Office at (507) 304-4251 or via email for more information or for assistance completing the correct application.

Granting Property Tax Exemptions

Exemption from property taxes may be granted by the county assessor after all required information and an application has been submitted. The assessor will be in contact with the applicant throughout the process and will ultimately issue a determination on the exemption.

Initial applications for exemption are due February 1 of the year the exemption is first sought if the property was owned and used for exempt purposes on January 2 of that year. Reapplications for already-exempt property are also due February 1 of the reapplication year.

Property that was taxable on January 2 may become eligible for certain types of exemption after that date if the property was purchased after January 2 but before July 1.

When a property is granted exemption for an assessment year, it is generally in effect starting with taxes payable in the following year. For example, if a property is granted exemption for the January 2, 2019 assessment, it will be exempt from property taxes that would normally be paid in 2020.

Contact the Assessor’s Office at (507) 304-4251 or via email for more information on granting exemptions.