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County adding property tax to townhouses

By Staff | Oct 12, 2014

The Faribault County Board of Commissioners passed a motion last Tuesday that called for a tax addition on a parcel of land located in the city of Blue Earth.

The county assessor’s office found that a strip of land between West 14th Street and the back side of the Four Oaks Townhouses on Highland Drive have been classified as tax-exempt for several years.

However, this particular parcel should have been classified as taxable.

Four different residences make up the town-home complex and each family is responsible for paying the property tax.

Minnesota statues claim that to remedy the error, the homeowners of each townhouse must pay the property tax from the current year plus two years prior.

The board passed a resolution requiring each of the four homeowners to make a property tax payment for a total of $550 for the 2012-2014 years.

“Hopefully it won’t be too much of an economic hardship on the four families,” commissioner Tom Loveall said.

Additional topics that were addressed:

Shane Johnson, the Faribault County Planning and Zoning program technician, appeared before the board to give notice for two separate feedlot permit applications. The purpose of these notices was to gather citizen input in regard to building the lots as well as to inform the board that the applications had been submitted.

Lucas Johnson had submitted an application requesting to construct or expand a new feedlot in Rome Township.

Johnson intends to build one new hog barn that will consist of 960 animal units, enough to house 2,400 hogs.

Neil Grunzke had also applied for a feedlot expansion permit to build a new facility on a parcel of land in Dunbar Township.

He intends to build one partial confinement barn with runoff control that will be used to house an additional 300 steers.

Because this session was a public meeting, the board took no action and there was no public comment at the time.

Kathleen Meyer, Walters city clerk, submitted a single proposal to the Board of Commissioners to ask the county to provide a loan to the city of Walters.

Shannon Sweeney also appeared before the board to represent the city as a financial adviser.

The city had contacted six different private lenders to fund a $100,000 project to rebuild the streets after having had the sewer system replaced.

However, because Walters is such a small community, each lender declined the request.

“Walters has found it difficult to provide interest in a city so small,” Sweeney said. “They’re not looking for a grant or free money, but possibly some funds that they can pay back through property taxes.”

The commissioners passed the single proposal but they are hoping to broaden it so it can apply to other small communities in the county.

“This is a unique way that we could help a small community in a way that private lenders can’t,” said Tom Warmka, the commissioner who represents Walters.

Faribault County auditor/treasurer/coordinator John Thompson will work out a single proposal for the city of Walters that could serve as a template for other small communities.