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HF 2551

as introduced - 92nd Legislature (2021 - 2022) Posted on 04/21/2021 09:40am

KEY: stricken = removed, old language.
underscored = added, new language.

Current Version - as introduced

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A bill for an act
relating to taxation; modifying requirements and procedures governing appeals of
utility and railroad property valuations; amending Minnesota Statutes 2020, sections
271.01, subdivision 5; 271.05; 271.09, subdivision 1; 273.372; 278.01, subdivision
3.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MINNESOTA:

Section 1.

Minnesota Statutes 2020, section 271.01, subdivision 5, is amended to read:


Subd. 5.

Jurisdiction.

The Tax Court shall have statewide jurisdiction. Except for an
appeal to the supreme court or any other appeal allowed under this subdivision, the Tax
Court shall be the sole, exclusive, and final authority for the hearing and determination of
all questions of law and fact arising under the tax laws of the state, as defined in this
subdivision, in those cases that have been appealed to the Tax Court and in any case that
has been transferred by the district court to the Tax Court. The Tax Court shall have no
jurisdiction in any case that does not arise under the tax laws of the state or in any criminal
case or in any case determining or granting title to real property or in any case that is under
the probate jurisdiction of the district court. The Small Claims Division of the Tax Court
shall have jurisdiction only as provided in section 271.21, subdivision 2. The Tax Court
shall have no jurisdiction in any case involving an order of the state board of equalization
unless a taxpayer contests the valuation of property. Laws governing taxes, aids, and related
matters administered by the commissioner of revenue, laws dealing with property valuation,
assessment or taxation of property for property tax purposes, and any other laws that contain
provisions authorizing review of taxes, aids, and related matters by the Tax Court shall be
considered tax laws of this state subject to the jurisdiction of the Tax Courtnew text begin, except the Tax
Court shall have no jurisdiction in any case involving property valuation as provided in
section 273.372
new text end. This subdivision shall not be construed to prevent an appeal, as provided
by law, to an administrative agency, board of equalization, review under section 274.13,
subdivision 1c
, or to the commissioner of revenue. Wherever used in this chapter, the term
commissioner shall mean the commissioner of revenue, unless otherwise specified.

Sec. 2.

Minnesota Statutes 2020, section 271.05, is amended to read:


271.05 POWER TO REVIEW.

The Tax Court shall have power to review and redetermine orders or decisions of the
commissioner of revenue upon appeal therefrom in the cases authorized by lawnew text begin, except as
provided by section 273.372
new text end.

Sec. 3.

Minnesota Statutes 2020, section 271.09, subdivision 1, is amended to read:


Subdivision 1.

Exclusive remedy.

Except as otherwise provided in sections 270C.86,
deleted text begin anddeleted text end 271.01, subdivision 5, new text beginand 273.372, new text endunless an appeal is taken to the district court, the
right of appeal herein provided shall be the exclusive remedy for reviewing the action of
the commissioner of revenue or the appropriate unit of government respecting any tax,
assessment, or other obligation as defined in section 271.01, subdivision 5. Upon any appeal
taken by a taxpayer, the decision of the Tax Court, or the decision of the supreme court
upon review thereof, as the case may be, shall be final and conclusive upon all parties to
the proceedings as to all matters at issue determined by such decision. In all cases the
decision of the Tax Court upon appeal, or of the supreme court upon review, as the case
may be, shall stand in lieu of the order of the commissioner or the appropriate unit of
government from which the appeal was taken.

Sec. 4.

Minnesota Statutes 2020, section 273.372, is amended to read:


273.372 PROCEEDINGS AND APPEALS; UTILITY OR RAILROAD
VALUATIONS.

Subdivision 1.

Scope.

(a) As provided in this section, an appeal by a utility or railroad
company concerning property for which the commissioner of revenue has provided the city
or county assessor with valuations by order, or for which the commissioner has recommended
values to the city or county assessor, must be brought against the commissioner, and not
against the county or taxing district where the property is located.

(b) This section governs administrative appeals and appeals to deleted text begincourtdeleted text endnew text begin the Office of
Administrative Hearings
new text end of a claim that utility or railroad operating property has been
partially, unfairly, or unequally assessed, or assessed at a valuation greater than its real or
actual value, misclassified, or that the property is exempt. This section applies only to
property described in sections 270.81, subdivision 1, 273.33, 273.35, 273.36, and 273.37,
and only with regard to taxable net tax capacities that have been provided to the city or
county by the commissioner and which have not been changed by city or county. If the
taxable net tax capacity being appealed is not the taxable net tax capacity established by
the commissioner, or if the appeal claims that the tax rate applied against the parcel is
incorrect, or that the tax has been paid, this section does not apply.

Subd. 2.

Contents and filing of petition.

deleted text begin (a) In all appeals to court that are required to
be brought against the commissioner under this section, the petition initiating the appeal
must be served on the commissioner and must be filed with the Tax Court in Ramsey County,
as provided in paragraph (b) or (c).
deleted text end

new text begin (a) The commissioner's orders and recommendations of value must advise the utility or
railroad company to notify the commissioner in writing within 60 days if the utility or
railroad company wishes to appeal the valuation. If the utility or railroad company fails to
appeal the valuation, the valuation is the final order and not subject to further review. If the
utility or railroad company appeals the valuation within 60 days, the commissioner shall
initiate a contested case proceeding under chapter 14.
new text end

new text begin (b) Contested case procedures under chapter 14 apply except the order of the
administrative law judge shall be treated as an arbitration award entered under section 14.57.
Any further judicial review shall be governed by chapter 572B. Costs assessed under section
14.53 shall be split between the commissioner and company.
new text end

deleted text begin (b) Ifdeleted text endnew text begin (c)new text end The appeal deleted text beginto court is from an order of the commissioner, it must be brought
under chapter 271 and filed within the time period prescribed in section 271.06, subdivision
2
, except that when the provisions of this section conflict with chapter 271 or 278, this
section prevails. In addition, the petition
deleted text end must include all the parcels encompassed by that
order which the petitioner claims have been partially, unfairly, or unequally assessed,
assessed at a valuation greater than their real or actual value, misclassified, or are exempt.
For this purpose, an order of the commissioner is either (1) a certification or notice of value
by the commissioner for property described in subdivision 1, or (2) the final determination
by the commissioner of an administrative appeal described in subdivision 4.

deleted text begin (c) If the appeal is from the tax that results from implementation of the commissioner's
order, certification, or recommendation, it must be brought under chapter 278, and the
provisions in that chapter apply, except that service shall be on the commissioner only and
not on the local officials specified in section 278.01, subdivision 1, and if any other provision
of this section conflicts with chapter 278, this section prevails. In addition, the petition must
include either all the utility parcels or all the railroad parcels in the state in which the
petitioner claims an interest and which the petitioner claims have been partially, unfairly,
or unequally assessed, assessed at a valuation greater than their real or actual value,
misclassified, or are exempt.
deleted text end

Subd. 3.

Notice.

Upon filing of any appeal deleted text beginin courtdeleted text endnew text begin at the Office of Administrative
Hearings
new text end by a utility company or railroad against the commissioner pursuant to this section,
the commissioner shall give notice by first class mail to the county auditor of each county
where property included in the petition is located.

Subd. 4.

Administrative appeals.

(a) Companies that submit the reports under section
270.82 or 273.371 by the date specified in that section, or by the date specified by the
commissioner in an extension, may appeal administratively to the commissioner prior to
bringing an deleted text beginaction in courtdeleted text endnew text begin appeal under chapter 14new text end.

(b) Companies must file a written request for an appeal with the commissioner within
30 days after the notice date of the commissioner's valuation certification or other notice to
the company. For purposes of this section, "notice date" means the notice date of the valuation
certification, commissioner's order, recommendation, or other notice.

(c) The appeal need not be in any particular form but must contain the following
information:

(1) name and address of the company;

(2) the date;

(3) its Minnesota identification number;

(4) the assessment year or period involved;

(5) the findings in the valuation that the company disputes;

(6) a summary statement specifying its reasons for disputing each item; and

(7) the signature of the company's duly authorized agent or representative.

(d) When requested in writing and within the time allowed for filing an administrative
appeal, the commissioner may extend the time for filing an appeal for a period of not more
than 15 days from the expiration of the time for filing the appeal.

(e) The commissioner shall conduct the conference either in person or by telephone upon
the commissioner's entire files and records and such further information as may be offered.
The conference must be held no later than 20 days after the date of the request for an appeal.
Within 30 days after the conference the commissioner shall make a final determination of
the matter and shall notify the company promptly of the determination. The conference is
not a contested case hearing subject to chapter 14.

Subd. 5.

Agreement determining valuation.

When it appears to be in the best interest
of the state, the commissioner may settle any matter under consideration regarding an appeal
filed under this section. The agreement must be in writing and signed by the commissioner
and the company or the company's authorized representative. The agreement is final and
conclusive, and except upon a showing of fraud, malfeasance, or misrepresentation of a
material fact, the case may not be reopened as to the matters agreed upon.

Subd. 6.

Dismissal of administrative appeal.

If a taxpayer files an administrative appeal
from an order of the commissioner and also files an appeal to the deleted text beginTax Courtdeleted text endnew text begin Office of
Administrative Hearings
new text end for that same order of the commissioner, the administrative appeal
is dismissed and the commissioner is no longer required to make the determination of appeal
under subdivision 4.

Sec. 5.

Minnesota Statutes 2020, section 278.01, subdivision 3, is amended to read:


Subd. 3.

Exception.

The procedures established by this section are not available to
contest the validity or amount of any special assessment made pursuant to chapters 429,
430, any special law or city charter.new text begin The procedures established by this section are also not
available to contest matters involving property valuation as provided in section 273.372.
new text end

Sec. 6. new text beginEFFECTIVE DATE.
new text end

new text begin This act is effective July 1, 2021, and applies to appeals filed on or after that date.
new text end