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Minnesota Legislature

Office of the Revisor of Statutes

273.061 ESTABLISHMENT OF OFFICE FOR EACH COUNTY.
    Subdivision 1. Office created; appointment, qualifications. Every county in this state
shall have a county assessor. The county assessor shall be appointed by the board of county
commissioners. The assessor shall be selected and appointed because of knowledge and training
in the field of property taxation and appointment shall be approved by the commissioner of
revenue before the same shall become effective. Upon receipt by the county commissioners of
the commissioner of revenue's refusal to approve an appointment, the term of the appointee
shall terminate at the end of that day.
The commissioner of revenue may grant approval on a probationary basis for a period of two
years. The commissioner must base the decision to impose a probationary period on objective
and consistent criteria. At the end of the two-year probationary period, the commissioner may
either refuse to approve the person's appointment for the remainder of the person's four-year
term, approve the person's appointment but only for another two-year probationary period,
or unconditionally approve the person's appointment for the remainder of the four-year term
for which the person was originally appointed by the county board. The criteria shall not be
considered rules and are not subject to the Administrative Procedure Act.
Notwithstanding any law to the contrary, a county assessor must have senior accreditation
from the state Board of Assessors by January 1, 1992, or within two years of the assessor's first
appointment under this section, whichever is later.
    Subd. 1a. Compatible offices. A person appointed as the county assessor also may serve as
the county auditor, county treasurer, or county auditor-treasurer if those offices are appointive,
provided that the person in the combined appointed office must not serve on the county board
of appeal and equalization under section 274.13. In a county in which the functions of the
county assessor are combined with those of the county auditor or county auditor-treasurer, the
county board may not delegate any authority, power, or responsibility under section 375.192,
subdivision 4
.
    Subd. 1b. Compatible offices in counties changing to appointed auditor. In a county
in which the office of auditor, treasurer, or auditor-treasurer is an elective position, a person
appointed as the county assessor also may serve as the county auditor, county treasurer, or county
auditor-treasurer if a proposal to make the affected office appointive has been approved as
required by other law and will be effective within five years.
    Subd. 1c. Incompatible offices. The person appointed as the county assessor must not also
be the county attorney, a county board member, an elected county auditor, an elected county
treasurer, an elected county auditor-treasurer, a town board supervisor for a town in the same
county, or a city mayor or council member for a city in the same county. The person appointed as
the city assessor must not also be a city council member or mayor for the same city. A person
appointed as the town assessor must not also be a town board supervisor for the same town.
Except as provided in subdivision 1b, an assessor who accepts a position that is incompatible with
the office of assessor is deemed to have resigned from the assessor position.
    Subd. 2. Term; vacancy. (a) The terms of county assessors appointed under this section shall
be four years. A new term shall begin on January 1 of every fourth year after 1973. When any
vacancy in the office occurs, the board of county commissioners, within 90 days thereafter, shall
fill the same by appointment for the remainder of the term, following the procedure prescribed
in subdivision 1. The term of the county assessor may be terminated by the board of county
commissioners at any time, on charges of malfeasance, misfeasance, or nonfeasance by the
commissioner of revenue. If the board of county commissioners does not intend to reappoint a
county assessor who has been certified by the state Board of Assessors, the board shall present
written notice to the county assessor not later than 90 days prior to the termination of the assessor's
term, that it does not intend to reappoint the assessor. If written notice is not timely made, the
county assessor will automatically be reappointed by the board of county commissioners.
The commissioner of revenue may recommend to the state Board of Assessors the
nonrenewal, suspension, or revocation of an assessor's license as provided in sections 270.41
to 270.53.
(b) In the event of a vacancy in the office of county assessor, through death, resignation or
other reasons, the deputy (or chief deputy, if more than one) shall perform the functions of the
office. If there is no deputy, the county auditor shall designate a person to perform the duties of
the office until an appointment is made as provided in clause (a). Such person shall perform the
duties of the office for a period not exceeding 90 days during which the county board must
appoint a county assessor. Such 90-day period may, however, be extended by written approval of
the commissioner of revenue.
(c) In the case of the first appointment under paragraph (a) of a county assessor who is
accredited but who does not have senior accreditation, an approval of the appointment by the
commissioner shall be provisional, provided that a county assessor appointed to a provisional
term under this paragraph must reapply to the commissioner at the end of the provisional term. A
provisional term may not exceed two years. The commissioner shall not approve the appointment
for the remainder of the four-year term unless the assessor has obtained senior accreditation.
    Subd. 3. Oath. Every county assessor, before entering upon duties, shall take and subscribe
the oath required of public officials.
    Subd. 4. Assistants. With the approval of the board of county commissioners, the county
assessor may employ one or more assistants and sufficient clerical help to perform the duties of
the assessor's office.
    Subd. 5. Offices; supplies. The board of county commissioners shall provide suitable office
space and equipment at the county seat for the county assessor, assistants and clerical help, and
shall furnish such books, maps, stationery, postage and supplies as may be necessary for the
discharge of the duties of the office.
    Subd. 6. Salaries; expenses. The salaries of the county assessor and assistants and clerical
help, shall be fixed by the board of county commissioners and shall be payable in monthly
installments out of the general revenue fund of the county. In counties with a population of less
than 50,000 inhabitants, according to the then last preceding federal census, the board of county
commissioners shall not fix the salary of the county assessor at an amount below the following
schedule:
In counties with a population of less than 6,500, $5,900;
In counties with a population of 6,500 but less than 12,000, $6,200;
In counties with a population of 12,000 but less than 16,000, $6,500;
In counties with a population of 16,000 but less than 21,000, $6,700;
In counties with a population of 21,000 but less than 30,000, $6,900;
In counties with a population of 30,000 but less than 39,500, $7,100;
In counties with a population of 39,500 but less than 50,000, $7,300;
In counties with a population of 50,000 or more, $8,300.
In addition to their salaries, the county assessor and assistants shall be allowed their expenses
for reasonable and necessary travel in the performance of their duties, including necessary travel,
lodging and meal expense incurred by them while attending meetings of instructions or official
hearings called by the commissioner of revenue. These expenses shall be payable out of the
general revenue fund of the county, and shall be allowed on the same basis as such expenses
are allowed to other county officers.
    Subd. 7. Division of duties between local and county assessor. The duty of the duly
appointed local assessor shall be to view and appraise the value of all property as provided by
law, but all the book work shall be done by the county assessor, or the assessor's assistants, and
the value of all property subject to assessment and taxation shall be determined by the county
assessor, except as otherwise hereinafter provided.

NOTE: Laws 1971, Chapter 434, Section 5, reads as follows:
"Sec. 5. This act shall not apply to cities or villages whose assessors have the powers and
duties of a county assessor pursuant to Minnesota Statutes, Section 273.063."
    Subd. 8. Powers and duties. The county assessor shall have the following powers and duties:
(1) To call upon and confer with the township and city assessors in the county, and advise
and give them the necessary instructions and directions as to their duties under the laws of this
state, to the end that a uniform assessment of all real property in the county will be attained.
(2) To assist and instruct the local assessors in the preparation and proper use of land
maps and record cards, in the property classification of real and personal property, and in the
determination of proper standards of value.
(3) To keep the local assessors in the county advised of all changes in assessment laws and all
instructions which the assessor receives from the commissioner of revenue relating to their duties.
(4) To have authority to require the attendance of groups of local assessors at sectional
meetings called by the assessor for the purpose of giving them further assistance and instruction
as to their duties.
(5) To immediately commence the preparation of a large scale topographical land map of the
county, in such form as may be prescribed by the commissioner of revenue, showing thereon the
location of all railroads, highways and roads, bridges, rivers and lakes, swamp areas, wooded
tracts, stony ridges and other features which might affect the value of the land. Appropriate
symbols shall be used to indicate the best, the fair, and the poor land of the county. For use in
connection with the topographical land map, the assessor shall prepare and keep available in the
assessor's office tables showing fair average minimum and maximum market values per acre of
cultivated, meadow, pasture, cutover, timber and waste lands of each township. The assessor shall
keep the map and tables available in the office for the guidance of town assessors, boards of
review, and the county board of equalization.
(6) To also prepare and keep available in the office for the guidance of town assessors, boards
of review and the county board of equalization, a land valuation map of the county, in such form as
may be prescribed by the commissioner of revenue. This map, which shall include the bordering
tier of townships of each county adjoining, shall show the average market value per acre, both
with and without improvements, as finally equalized in the last assessment of real estate, of all
land in each town or unorganized township which lies outside the corporate limits of cities.
(7) To regularly examine all conveyances of land outside the corporate limits of cities of the
first and second class, filed with the county recorder of the county, and keep a file, by descriptions,
of the considerations shown thereon. From the information obtained by comparing the
considerations shown with the market values assessed, the assessor shall make recommendations
to the county board of equalization of necessary changes in individual assessments or aggregate
valuations.
(8) To become familiar with the values of the different items of personal property so as to be
in a position when called upon to advise the boards of review and the county board of equalization
concerning property, market values thereof.
(9) While the county board of equalization is in session, to give it every possible assistance
to enable it to perform its duties. The assessor shall furnish the board with all necessary charts,
tables, comparisons, and data which it requires in its deliberations, and shall make whatever
investigations the board may desire.
(10) At the request of either the board of county commissioners or the commissioner of
revenue, to investigate applications for reductions of valuation and abatements and settlements
of taxes, examine the real or personal property involved, and submit written reports and
recommendations with respect to the applications, in such form as may be prescribed by the board
of county commissioners and commissioner of revenue.
(11) To make diligent search each year for real and personal property which has been omitted
from assessment in the county, and report all such omissions to the county auditor.
(12) To regularly confer with county assessors in all adjacent counties about the assessment
of property in order to uniformly assess and equalize the value of similar properties and classes
of property located in adjacent counties. The conference shall emphasize the assessment of
agricultural and commercial and industrial property or other properties that may have an
inadequate number of sales in a single county.
(13) To render such other services pertaining to the assessment of real and personal property
in the county as are not inconsistent with the duties set forth in this section, and as may be required
by the board of county commissioners or by the commissioner of revenue.
(14) To maintain a record, in conjunction with other county offices, of all transfers of
property to assist in determining the proper classification of property, including but not limited to,
transferring homestead property and name changes on homestead property.
(15) To determine if a homestead application is required due to the transfer of homestead
property or an owner's name change on homestead property.
    Subd. 8a. Additional powers and duties of the commissioner of revenue, county
assessors and local assessors. Notwithstanding any provision of law to the contrary, in order to
promote a uniform assessment and review of assessments, the commissioner of revenue, county
assessors and local assessors may exchange data on property which are classified under chapter
13 as public, nonpublic or private. The data for any property may include but is not limited to its
sales, income, expenses, vacancies, rentable or usable areas, anticipated income and expenses,
projected vacancies, lease information, and private multiple listing service data. Data exchanged
under this provision that is classified as nonpublic or private data shall retain its classification.
    Subd. 9. Additional general duties. Additional duties of the county assessor shall be as
follows:
(a) to make all assessments, based upon the appraised values reported by the local assessors
or assistants and the county assessor's own knowledge of the value of the property assessed;
(b) to personally view and determine the value of any property which because of its type
or character may be difficult for the local assessor to appraise;
(c) to make all changes ordered by the local boards of review, relative to the net tax capacity
of the property of any individual, firm or corporation after notice has been given and hearings
held as provided by law;
(d) to enter all assessments in the assessment books, furnished by the county auditor, with
each book and the tabular statements for each book in correct balance;
(e) to prepare all assessment cards, charts, maps and any other forms prescribed by the
commissioner of revenue;
(f) to attend the meeting of the county board of equalization; to investigate and report on any
assessment ordered by said board; to enter all changes made by said board in the assessment books
and prepare the abstract of assessments for the commissioner of revenue; to enter all changes
made by the State Board of Equalization in the assessment books; to deduct all exemptions
authorized by law from each assessment and certify to the county auditor the taxable value of
each parcel of land, as described and listed in the assessment books by the county auditor, and the
taxable value of the personal property of each person, firm, or corporation assessed;
(g) to investigate and make recommendations relative to all applications for the abatement of
taxes or applications for the reduction of the net tax capacity of any property;
(h) to perform all other duties relating to the assessment of property for the purpose of
taxation which may be required by the commissioner of revenue.
    Subd. 10. Assessor in unorganized territory. In counties having unorganized territory
divided into one or more assessment districts, the board of county commissioners may appoint
the county assessor for all such districts. In such case the assessor shall receive no compensation
for performing the duties of assessor. The assessor shall, however, be allowed expenses for
reasonable and necessary travel in the performance of duties. Such expenses shall be payable
out of the general revenue fund of the county.
    Subd. 11.[Repealed, 1Sp1981 c 4 art 1 s 189]
History: Ex1967 c 32 art 8 s 1; 1969 c 9 s 68,69; 1969 c 498 s 1; 1971 c 434 s 4; 1973 c 123
art 5 s 7; 1973 c 582 s 3; 1974 c 18 s 1; 1974 c 567 s 1; 1975 c 301 s 3; 1975 c 339 s 8; 1975 c
437 art 1 s 32; 1976 c 181 s 2; 1977 c 434 s 10; 1979 c 50 s 30; 1980 c 423 s 5; 1984 c 593 s 13;
1986 c 444; 1987 c 268 art 7 s 28-30; 1988 c 719 art 5 s 84; art 7 s 6,7; 1989 c 277 art 2 s 17,18;
1989 c 329 art 13 s 20; 1Sp1989 c 1 art 3 s 6; 1993 c 375 art 3 s 12; art 5 s 7; art 11 s 2; 1994 c
587 art 5 s 2; 1Sp2001 c 5 art 7 s 14,15; 2003 c 127 art 5 s 12-14