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Minnesota Legislature

Office of the Revisor of Statutes

278.05 TRIAL OF ISSUES.
    Subdivision 1. Trial. The petition, without any answer, return, or other pleading thereto,
shall be tried at the next term of court. The Tax Court or district court shall without delay
summarily hear and determine the claims, objections or defenses made by the petition and shall
direct judgment to sustain, reduce or increase the amount of taxes due, and the trial shall disregard
technicalities and matters of form not affecting the merits.
    Subd. 2. Responsible attorney; school district representatives. If the property on which
the taxes have been levied is located in a home rule charter or statutory city or town which
employs its own certified assessor, the attorney for that governmental unit may, within 20 days
after receipt by the governmental unit of the copy of the petition forwarded by the county auditor,
give notice to the county attorney and to the petitioner or the petitioner's attorney that the home
rule charter or statutory city or town is taking charge of and prosecuting the proceeding. If the
attorney for the home rule charter or statutory city or town does not give notice, the attorney of the
county in which these taxes are levied shall take charge of and prosecute the proceedings, but the
county board may employ any other attorney to assist the county attorney. If the school board has
responded within 30 days of receipt to a notice provided pursuant to section 278.01, indicating
that it desires to be notified of further proceedings in the case, a representative of the school
district in which the property is located shall be notified of all proceedings and all offers to reduce
valuations and shall be given an opportunity to appear and testify on any trial of the issues raised.
    Subd. 3. Assessor's records; evidence. Assessor's records, including certificates of real
estate value, assessor's field cards and property appraisal cards shall be made available to the
petitioner for inspection and copying and may be offered at the trial subject to the applicable rules
of evidence and rules governing pretrial discovery and shall not be excluded from discovery or
admissible evidence on the grounds that the documents and the information recorded thereon are
confidential or classified as private data on individuals. Evidence of comparable sales of other
property shall, within the discretion of the court, be admitted at the trial.
    Subd. 4. Sales ratio studies as evidence. The sales ratio studies published by the Department
of Revenue, or any part of the studies, or any copy of the studies or records accumulated to prepare
the studies which is prepared by the commissioner of revenue for use in determining education
aids shall be admissible in evidence as a public record without the laying of a foundation if the
sales prices used in the study are adjusted for the terms of the sale to reflect market value and
are adjusted to reflect the difference in the date of sale compared to the assessment date. The
Department of Revenue sales ratio study shall be prima facie evidence of the level of assessment.
Additional evidence relevant to the sales ratio study is also admissible. No sales ratio study
received into evidence shall be conclusive or binding on the court and evidence of its reliability or
unreliability may be introduced by any party including, but not limited to, evidence of inadequate
adjustment of sale prices for terms of financing, inadequate adjustment of sales prices to reflect
the difference in the date of sale compared to the assessment date, and inadequate sample size.
No reduction in value on the grounds of discrimination shall be granted on the basis of a
sales ratio study unless
(a) the sales prices are adjusted for the terms of the sale to reflect market value,
(b) the sales prices are adjusted to reflect the difference in the date of sale compared to
the assessment date,
(c) there is an adequate sample size, and
(d) the median ratio of the same classification of property in the same county, city, or town
as the subject property is lower than 90 percent, except that in the case of a county containing
a city of the first class, the median ratio for the county shall be the ratio determined excluding
sales from the first class city within the county.
If a reduction in value on the grounds of discrimination is granted based on the above criteria,
the reduction shall equal the difference between 95 percent and the median ratio determined by
the court.
    Subd. 5. Offer to reduce valuation. Any time after the filing of the petition and before the
trial of the issues raised thereby, when the defense or claim presented is that the property has been
partially, unfairly, or unequally assessed, or that the property has been assessed at a valuation
greater than its real or actual value, or that a parcel which is classified as homestead under the
provisions of section 273.13, subdivision 22 or 23, has been assessed at a valuation which exceeds
by ten percent or more the valuation which the parcel would have if it were valued at the average
assessment/sales ratio for real property in the same class in that portion of the county in which
the parcel is located, for which the commissioner is able to establish and publish a sales ratio
study, the attorney representing the state, county, city or town in the proceedings may serve on the
petitioner, or the petitioner's attorney, and file with the court administrator of the district court, an
offer to reduce the valuation of the property or a portion of the property to a valuation set forth
in the offer. If, within ten days thereafter, the petitioner, or the attorney, gives notice in writing
to the county attorney, or the attorney for the city or town, that the offer is accepted, the official
notified may file the offer with proof of notice, and the court administrator shall enter judgment
accordingly. Otherwise, the offer shall be deemed withdrawn and evidence thereof shall not be
given; and, unless a lower valuation than specified in the offer is found by the court, no costs
or disbursements shall be allowed to the petitioner, but the costs and disbursements of the state,
county, city or town, including interest at six percent on the tax based on the amount of the offer
from and after the 16th day of October, or, in the case of class 1b agricultural homestead, class
2a agricultural homestead, class 2b(2) agricultural nonhomestead property, and manufactured
homes treated as personal property, the 16th day of November, of the year the taxes are payable,
shall be taxed in its favor and included in the judgment and when collected shall be credited to
the county revenue fund, unless the taxes were paid in full before the 16th day of October, or,
in the case of class 1b agricultural homestead, class 2a agricultural homestead, and class 2b(2)
agricultural nonhomestead property, and manufactured homes treated as personal property, the
16th day of November, of the year in which the taxes were payable, in which event interest
shall not be taxable.
    Subd. 6. Dismissal of petition; exclusion of certain evidence. (a) Information, including
income and expense figures, verified net rentable areas, and anticipated income and expenses,
for income-producing property must be provided to the county assessor no later than 60 days
after the applicable filing deadline contained in section 278.01, subdivision 1 or 4. Failure to
provide the information required in this paragraph shall result in the dismissal of the petition,
unless (1) the failure to provide it was due to the unavailability of the evidence at the time that
the information was due, or (2) the petitioner was not aware of or informed of the requirement
to provide the information.
If the petitioner proves that the requirements under clause (2) are met, the petitioner has an
additional 30 days to provide the information from the time the petitioner became aware of or was
informed of the requirement to provide the information, otherwise the petition shall be dismissed.
(b) Provided that the information as contained in paragraph (a) is timely submitted to the
county assessor, the county assessor shall furnish the petitioner at least five days before the hearing
under this chapter with the property's appraisal, if any, which will be presented to the court at the
hearing. The petitioner shall furnish to the county assessor at least five days before the hearing
under this chapter with the property's appraisal, if any, which will be presented to the court at the
hearing. An appraisal of the petitioner's property done by or for the county shall not be admissible
as evidence if the county assessor does not comply with the provisions in this paragraph. The
petition shall be dismissed if the petitioner does not comply with the provisions in this paragraph.
History: (2126-5) 1935 c 300 s 5; 1937 c 483 s 2; 1977 c 118 s 4; 1977 c 423 art 4 s 9;
1980 c 443 s 3; 1982 c 523 art 17 s 2; art 23 s 3; 1983 c 342 art 2 s 23; art 7 s 12; 1984 c 502
art 11 s 5; 1Sp1985 c 14 art 4 s 81; 1986 c 444; 1986 c 473 s 5,6; 1Sp1986 c 1 art 4 s 33,51;
1Sp1986 c 3 art 1 s 82; 1987 c 268 art 7 s 47; 1989 c 277 art 2 s 41,42; 1990 c 604 art 3 s 35;
1991 c 291 art 1 s 31; art 12 s 14; 1992 c 511 art 2 s 24; 1994 c 416 art 1 s 33; 1994 c 587 art 5 s
15; 2003 c 127 art 2 s 19