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County market value down 5.3 percent

It is another indication of the tough economic times.

Dakota County's total taxable market value, including new construction, is $441.1 billion in 2009.

That is about a 5.3 percent decrease from the 2008 total market value, according to Dakota County assessor Bill Peterson's annual report.

The market value is an assessor's estimate of what property would be worth if it were sold.

While more than $351 million of new construction was recorded in the county during 2008, it only added about $44.8 million to the net tax capacity (total of $483.4 for the county), due to declining property values.

Residential properties decreased on average between 8 and 9 percent, and agricultural estimated market value decreased about 20 percent. Four- to five-unit apartment projects decreased about 12 percent.

Commercial property remained mostly unchanged.

The assessed values were determined by analyzing sales that occurred from Oct. 1, 2007, to Sept. 30, 2008. This sales period is mandated by the Minnesota Department of Revenue real estate and personal property taxes that are paid the year following the assessment.

Valuation notices for 2009 market values were mailed the first week in March. There are approximately 148,000 notices being sent to manufactured home, real and personal property owners.

The total net tax capacity has decreased 4.9 percent for the 2009 assessment, taxes payable in 2010, to $483,479,656. (The total net tax capacity is the value of property based on market value and classification rates, on which property values are determined.) This number will likely decrease further as the year goes on due to valuation and classification changes, according to Peterson.

Open book and board of appeal and equalization meetings are scheduled within the next two months. Open Book meetings - property owners can share their questions and concerns with the assessor's office staff - are scheduled from 9 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Thursday, March 19, at the Northern Service Center in West St. Paul, and from 9 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday, March 23 to 26, at the Western Service Center in Apple Valley.

The time and date for board of appeal and equalization for the individual cities and townships was included on property owners' valuation notices.