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Official Publication of the Minnesota Association of Assessing Officers / mnmaao.org

EQUAL EYES Spring 2018 Volume 40 Number 152

The Residential Committee:

Making the Grade Assessor Soft Skills:

Teamwork

Global Assessment

Hawaii

Also Inside: • • • • •

Top 10 What You Get For Out of the Past Classifieds Tax Court and much more!


E DITORIAL

MAAO

L EADERSHIP

COMMITTEE

Lori Thingvold, SAMA Wright County Managing Editor

Jason Jorgensen, SAMA Meeker County Associate Editor Committee Chair

Jamie Freeman, SAMA Clearwater County

Nancy Gunderson SAMA Clay County

Executive Officers President Patrick Todd, SAMA st 1 Vice President Michelle Moen, SAMA 2nd Vice President Teresaa Mitchell, SAMA Financial Officer William Effertz, SAMA Past President Kyle Holmes, SAMA Regional Directors Region 1 Joy Kanne, SAMA Region 2 Mike Sheplee, SAMA Region 3 Jean Sowada-Popp, SAMA Region 4 Mike Dangers, SAMA Region 5 Jason McCaslin, SAMA Region 6 Lori Schwendemann, SAMA Region 7 Chris Odden, SAMA Region 8 Terrie Johnson, SAMA Region 9 Kent Smith, AMA Committee Chairs Agricultural Doug Bruns, SAMA CAMA and GIS Randy Lahr, SAMA Conference Coordinator Paul Knutson, SAMA, RES Editorial

Jake Pidde, AMA Stearns County

Amber Hill, CMA Polk County

Information Systems

Legislative

Mark Peterson, SAMA

Membership Coordinator

Rebecca Malmquist, SAMA, RES

Rules and Resolutions Sales Ratio Secretary Silent Auction Site Selection Strategic Planning Laura Odgren, CMA Martin County

Questions, comments or suggestions? Please email editor@mnmaao.org cover photo courtesy of flickr.com 2

Equal Eyes | Spring 2018

Matt Gersemehl, SAMA

Nominating and Procedures Residential

Mike Bjork, AMA Washington County

Jason Jorgensen, SAMA

Michelle Snobl, AMA

Daryl Moeller, SAMA Marvin Anderson, SAMA Dell Sanko, CMA Penny Vikre, SAMA Jane Grossinger, SAMA Lisa Clarke, CMA Nancy Wojcik, SAMA

Summer Seminar Coordinator

Kim Jensen, SAMA, CAE

Ann Miller, SAMA Treasurer Reed Heidelberger, SAMA Educational Workgroups Tax Court / Valuations

Assessor Development Course Management

Amy Rausch & Patrick Chapman, SAMA

Course Curriculum & Standards

Tina Diedrich-Von Eschen, SAMA Sherri Kitchenmaster/Jessi Glancey, SAMA

Education Coordinator/Online Admin. Scholarship

Jackie Coulter Kelly Schroeder, SAMA


IN THIS ISSUE Global Assessment: Hawaii

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Assessor Soft Skills: Teamwork in the Workplace

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IN EVERY ISSUE Commissioner’s Comments

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Presidential Perspective

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Education

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MAAP Update

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IAAO News

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Classifieds What You Get For

22 23

Top 10

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Out of the Past

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Tax Court

28

State Board of Assessors Minutes 34

The Residential Committee Presents Making the Grade 20

* The statements made or opinions expressed by authors in Equal Eyes do not necessarily represent a policy position of the Minnesota Association of Assessing Officers. Spring 2018 | Equal Eyes

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From the Editor: As I reflect on some of the events that have taken place over the past few months, I have come to a few conclusions:

Life is fragile, handle it with care. Life is short, live every moment like it is your last. Life is full of ups and downs, find the middle and hold on. Life is a cherished gift, find its meaning and take nothing for granted. Life is a lesson, become a mentor and share what you know. Live Life,

Jason Jason Jorgensen Equal Eyes Associate Editor

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e n i l d Dea

d e d n Exte

June 1, 2018 Spring 2018 | Equal Eyes

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Commissioner’s Comments

By Cynthia Bauerly MN Revenue Commissioner

Keeping up the PACE: Changes, Training, and Capitol Update The first few months of the year in Minnesota provide the opportunity to watch our seasons change from winter to spring – one of the many benefits of having four seasons in our state. Early 2018 also brought changes to the Department of Revenue, but without the temporary detour back to winter our state took in early April! You can read more about changes at Revenue below. First, however, I want to note a recent loss to the property tax community in Minnesota. We were all saddened to hear of the death of Brian Koester, chair of the State Board of Assessors (BOA), in February. Brian was Benton County Assessor for over 20 years. He joined the BOA in 2011, becoming vice chair in 2014, and chair in 2016.

On the move As we announced earlier this year Jon Klockziem became acting property tax director in February. He has been with Revenue since 2013, and served as assistant property tax director for the last five years. Jon worked closely with previous director Cynthia Rowley to implement a number of law changes and deepen our relationship with MAAO. Cynthia is now an assistant commissioner, overseeing the Property Tax, Individual Income Tax and Withholding, and Tax Operations divisions. (Assistant commissioner Jenny Starr is still here; she now oversees the Collection Division along with the Sales Tax, Corporate Tax, and Criminal Investigation divisions.)

property tax officials. One example of their commitment is the Property Tax Services Report. Jon and Cynthia were instrumental in creating that report, based in large part on your feedback. In March, we published the first annual update to last year’s baseline report. We hope the trends provide additional perspective on your county’s work. We know it provided valuable insight on our work at Revenue and helped us improve our service to you. For example, we made increasing PTCO visits to counties a priority – and we show improvement in this area. Future reports will no doubt offer additional information about trends and potential improvements.

Training update Minnesota’s property tax system Please join me in welcoming Jon and can be complex and subject to law Brian was a dedicated public servant, Cynthia in their new roles. They are changes, presenting many challenges valued colleague, and good friend to both dedicated to excellence in our for the assessors who value and many at Revenue and in the property property tax system and strongly classify property. tax community. We will miss him, committed to customer service as will his family, friends, and the and to our ongoing partnerships Our property tax system relies on with MAAO, assessors, and other you to assess properties consistently county he served for two decades.

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Commissioner’s Comments

Continued

across the state– anything less is unfair, and undercuts public trust. That consistency relies, in part, on continuing education to keep you current with the latest laws and appraisal methods and tools.

summer and PACE 2 in 2019. For • Proposals to let qualifying details and registration, See PACE veterans and spouses receive a Course on our website. Go to www. pro-rated property tax abatement in the year they apply for the revenue.state.mn.us and type PACE Disabled Veterans Homestead into the Search box. Exclusion (instead of waiting until the next year). This bill Some of this year’s classes are would also extend and expand At Revenue, we are committed to already full. We encourage you to the exclusion for spouses after a provide and improve training that register now for the best selection of qualifying veteran dies. supports your work as assessors. topics and locations. While state law requires this training, our commitment rests on an even Note: You must also complete Ethics • A proposal to require the state to pay property tax judgments deeper foundation: Simply put, for Minnesota Assessors by June in favor of taxpayers who own education is the most effective tool 30, 2020, regardless of your license level. This course is separate from state-assessed property (SAP) we have to ensure consistent property PACE. For details on Ethics and a such at utilities and railroads. assessment and – by extension – a number of other courses, see the The department understands fair property tax system. MAAO website. Go to mnmaao.org counties’ concern about potential We work closely with MAAO to > Education & Events > Educational refund costs if our SAP values offer courses that are relevant to your Offerings. are later reduced in litigation. work and cover the issues that matter We are open to a solution that to you. For example, we sought your addresses this potential issue in Legislative session input before finalizing the topics a way that is fair to all taxpayers, and schedule for our Professional This year’s legislative session is well counties, and the state. Assessment Certification and under way and, as usual, there are several property tax proposals under We will keep you posted on these Education (PACE) course. debate. Among them: and other proposals that would All Accredited Minnesota Assessors affect your work. We welcome your (AMAs) or Senior Accredited • Gov. Mark Dayton’s proposal to thoughts and feedback, as always. Minnesota Assessor (SAMAs) must move the application deadline Thank you! attend PACE during each fourfor the Senior Citizen Property year licensing cycle. To meet the Deferral Program back four Cynthia Bauerly is commissioner requirement, you must complete months to November 1. This of the Minnesota Department of PACE and pass the course tests by would give people who are Revenue. June 30, 2020, unless you earned struggling to make their secondyour current license after July 1, half property tax payment a 2016. chance to learn about the program and qualify for the next year. It For this license cycle, we split PACE would also reduce the number into two sections. All AMAs and of years required for occupancy. SAMAs must complete PACE 1 this

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president’s perspective By Patrick Todd City of Minneapolis Assessor MAAO President Hello friends, colleagues and members of MAAO. Its 50 degrees today and you’d think I just woke up from hibernation. I’m driving my car with the sunroof open, windows down, music booming and waving goodbye to Old Man Winter in my rear view mirror. It’s springtime in Minnesota and that means the sun is setting later, the days are getting warmer, the birds are singing and the tulips are blooming. This is my favorite time of the year. Here’s what been happening in MAAO since my last letter. Fractional-Linked Homestead Bulletin MAAO has not taken a formal position on this issue, however, MAAO leadership continues to support its members from regions adversely impacted by the recent bulletin. Discussions with elected officials and state representatives are underway. Members can testify on behalf of their region and jurisdiction, please let MAAO’s Legislative Committee Chair Mark Peterson know as soon as possible. Our goal is to ensure Mn. Statute 273.13 Subd. 35 is being interpreted and applied fairly and accurately. More to come. Minnesota State Board of Assessors As President of MAAO, I am reaching out to all County Assessors who may have an interest in serving on the State Board of Assessors. With the sudden passing of Brian Koester, the State Board of Assessors has a county assessor position

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currently open on the board. The board is composed of nine members appointed by the Commissioner of Revenue. The board members must include one appraiser, two county assessors, two city assessors, two public members, two DOR members and one administrator. The purpose of the board is to educate, license, and regulate the professional conduct of assessors in order to provide the taxpayers of Minnesota with a fair and equitable valuation of their property.  

U40/10 Annual Meet and Greet Last year was good, but this year will be GREAT! Plans are in the works for another fun social event for all MAAO members that are under 40 years or have less than 10 years in the profession. In addition to fun and games there will be members from each MAAO committee available to meet and learn about all the great work of each committee and opportunities to get involved.

The commissioner has asked that MAAO submit a list of county assessor names for this appointment. If you are a county assessor and would like to volunteer or are interested in more information please contact either myself or any current board member by email or phone. Time is of the essence so if you are interested, please don't delay. Deadline is Mid-April.

Final Note: My goal as president has been to attend one meeting from every region during my presidency. So far I’ve attended three regions and look forward to hearing from the other six. Call me so we can get it on our calendars!

MAAO Summer Seminars Mark it on your calendars! Plan a trek to St. Cloud on May 23-24 for Summer Seminars. This year the Education Content Committee has assembled some excellent courses for attendees to choose from. As always, there will be some new courses like Market Rents versus Lease Fee as well as favorite courses from previous conferences. The theme of this year’s evening dinner at Mulligans will be Channel the Flannel – MAAO’s Lumberjack/Lumberjill Bash. So pack your Levi’s, your best plaid flannel shirt, suspenders and caulk boots for a fun night.

Cheers,

Patrick Todd President MAAO


2018 MAAO Courses Assessment Laws and Procedures with Ethics (ALP) July 9-12, 2018 | St. Cloud Residential Case Study Workshop July 16-17, 2018 | St. Cloud Basic Appraisal Principles July 23-26, 2018 | St. Cloud Minnesota Assessment Administration July 30-August 2, 2018 | St. Paul Basic Appraisal Procedures August 6-9, 2018 | St. Cloud Basic Income Approach August 13-17, 2018 | Chanhassen Mass Appraisal Basics August 20-24, 2018 | St. Cloud IAAO 102-Income Approach to Valuation August 27-31, 2018 | Chanhassen Income Case Study Workshop September 18-19, 2018 | Chanhassen USPAP October 22-23, 2018 | St. Cloud

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MAAP Update

Written by Melonie Flaws Crow Wing County MAAP President 2017-2018

“ The purpose and objective of this organization shall be to further the work experience and knowledge of assessment personnel through education, communication and participation.” As my year as President is coming closer to an end, I am looking back at the last year and at just how true this statement from the MAAP by-laws has been for me as well as looking forward to our next Summer Workshop. The MAAP Summer Workshops provide training on topics directly related to the job duties of assessment personnel and have been valuable to me in my position. MAAP has also introduced me to so many people that have not only become friends but are also people that I can use as resources to help me do my job better. Without MAAP I would never have met any of these people! I am really excited about this years’ workshop. As always, we will have informative topics directly related to Assessment professionals. But this year we are thinking outside of the box and taking our training to another level. We have come up with topics that will be tools to help us relate to our customers as well as to our work peers. I truly feel as though this will help us elevate our customer service to the next level. If you are reading this article and are in an assessment support role, I encourage you to ask your County Assessor if you can join MAAP if you are not already a member. The membership fee is only $10 and the 2018 summer workshop registration fee is just $85. MAAP has so much to offer for a low price. Please contact me or one of our officers for more information. The 2018 MAAP Summer workshop will be held August 16-17, 2018 at the Holiday Inn & Suites in Downtown Duluth. If you would like to attend, please contact a MAAP board member for more information.

MAAP Officers Melonie Flaws President 2017-2018 Crow Wing County 218-824-1302 melonie.flaws@crowwing.us

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Samantha Erpelding Vice President 2017-2018 Stearns County 320-656-3693 Samantha.erpelding@co.stearns.mn.us

Jessica Arneson Secretary/Treasurer 2017-2019 Washington County 651-430-6097 jessica.arneson@co.washington.mn.us

Kelly Princivalli Past President 2017-2018 Carver County 952-361-1971 kprincivalli@co.carver.mn.us

Samantha Kral Conference Coordinator 2017-2019 Sibley County 507-237-4077 samk@co.sibley.mn.us

Amanda Lee Education Board Member at Large 2016-2018 Mower County 507-437-9440 amandalee@co.mower.mn.us

Lacy Standke Education Board Member at Large 2016-2018 Steele County 507-444-7438 lacy.standke@co.steele.mn.us

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IAAO NEWS Annual Conference Coming to Minneapolis

The 2018 IAAO Annual International Conference on Assessment Administration is set for September 23-26, 2018, in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Registration for the conference will start in early March.

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Global Assessment

Hawaii 12

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By Jason Jorgensen, SAMA Meeker County Associate Editor

Arising out of the

middle of the Pacific Ocean, these islands have become one of the most sought after vacation destinations in the world. From pluming flows of lava, to the lush tropical jungles, Hawaii offers some of the spectacular sights in the world. Spring 2018 | Equal Eyes

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G l o b a l A s s e s s m e n t : H AWA I I they should, however, many other crops are grown as well that helps stabilize the economy such as onions, ginger, bananas, nuts, lettuce, coffee and sweet potatoes. Throughout the state over 3,600 crop farms and 1,100 livestock farms hold fast to 40% of the lush interior lands. Livestock of the islands consists of the beef and dairy cattle, hogs, chickens, and honey, combined with the crop farms the sales from these products contribute $357 million to the local economy. Real estate

Population

Economy

As of the 2015 census, the combined population of the islands reached 1.43 million people, up 5.2% from the 2010 census. Currently about 37.3% of the population is made up of Asian background, 26.3 White, 10% Native Hawaiians or Pacific islanders, and 26.4% other races.

Tourism has been Hawaii’s largest source of income, steadily contributing approximately 24% of the GSP. In 2016 the average income per household was $71,977. Hawaii has a relatively low export industry, because of the long distance to ship products to a credible marketplace. However, some of the items that are shipped include coffee, pineapple, livestock, sugarcane and macadamia nuts. Honey bees rank at the top of export profits, due to the fact they are light to ship.

Administrative division The islands are overseen by County Government districts, each of the five main islands has its own complete administrative district; even the capital city of Honolulu is overseen by the county system.

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Demographics Hawaii was introduced to the US as a state on August 21, 1959 and is the only state that is not part of the contiguous land mass of North America. Originally part of the Polynesian Islands, Hawaii sits at the north end of the Polynesian Triangle located in the south-central Pacific Ocean. The Islands have a rich history ceremonial dancing, hula, and luaus. The average resident has a life span of 81.7 years of age.

Geography The Hawaiian Islands are located 2300 miles off the coast of California spanning a distance of approximately 1522 miles in length, and bordered by 750 miles of coastline. The largest of the islands is Hawaii, and is positioned at the southernmost tip of the group of islands. Currently the islands take up an area of 10,931 sq. miles, however; the islands are slowly growing in size due to the volcanic activity as the tectonic plates in the area gradually shift northward. Nicknamed “The Big Island” Hawaii has the highest point of all the islands, Mauna Kea, rising 13,796 feet above sea level, followed by Maui’s Haleakaia at 10,023 feet.

The current real estate market on the islands continues to rise. According to February 2018 statistics, the market has increased by 6.6% over last year. Typically, February is a slower month of home sales, but this year February alone was up 1.8% compared to last year’s market. The median home value in Hawaii is $628,600 and is predicted to rise another 4.8% for the upcoming year that puts a typical 1,200 square foot home on the market at $510 a square foot. However, the median selling price of a home $543,000. The housing markets varies drastically from island to island, some areas the median home value is $301,500 where other areas the median could be as high as $945,700. Rental properties with 2-3 bedrooms currently have a median rent of $2,300 per month.

Agriculture Hawaii’s fertile soil and summer like temperatures make the perfect combination for growing a wide variety of fruits and vegetables. Most people may think of coconuts, sugarcane and pineapples when they think of Hawaii as

Hawaii infrastructure is in great need of repair as it faces many challenges in the near future. The roads cost each driver an average of $708 a year and 5.7% of the bridges are rated structurally deficient. The school system has an expenditure gap of $88 million. The drinking water and waste water needs of the people are estimated at $3.21 billion, and


day, in 2015, almost 9 million visitors stepped foot into the crystal blue waters that surround the volcanic beaches and palm trees. On the average $42.7 million are spent daily amongst the Islands, with Oahu leading the ranks at $19.9 million per day. Transportation

furthermore, 123 of the state’s dams are considered to be in a high hazard state of disrepair. Property Tax Hawaiians pay relatively low property taxes compared to other states in the US, in 2017 a median home value of $517,600 payed a tax of $1,324 a year or .26% of assessed value. Income Tax Income tax on the Islands range from 1.4% to 8.25%, depending upon with tax bracket a person falls under. Hawaii does allow for person exemptions for single, married, and dependents to help reduce the tax owed by the taxpayer. Income Tax Rate Chart Single Couple $0 $0 $2,400 $4,800 $4,800 $9,600 $9,600 $19,200 $14,400 $28,800 $19,200 $38,400 $24,000 $48,000 $36,000 $72,000 $48,000 $96,000

Capital Gains Property and assets sold in Hawaii are subject to both state and federal capital gains tax. The state rate is 7.3% while the federal rate is 22.1% for an uppermost combined rate of 29.4%.

The islands have a system of state owned highways that run the perimeter of each island. Due to heavy population and winding roads, bumper to bumper traffic can cause issues in certain areas of the islands. Maui and Oahu attempted to run a super ferry between the Islands, but due to environmental impacts and protestors the service was suspended. A passenger ferry service is in operation based out of a port in Maui that offers transportation for foot traffic service only. International flights arrive and depart daily from the Honolulu International Airport providing both commercial and passenger flights.

Corporate Tax Corporate tax rates across the Islands range from 4.4% at the $25,000 bracket to 6.4% at the $100,000 bracket. Sales Tax Hawaii administers a state sales tax of 4% and a local sales tax of .35% on nonessential items.

Tax Rate 1.40% 3.20% 5.50% 6.40% 6.80% 7.20% 7.60% 7.90% 8.25%

Tourism The year-round summer weather on the islands and the warm waters of the Pacific Ocean draw record setting numbers of tourists every day. The islands are filled with an average of 220,000 visitors every

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Welcome Aboard! Michelle Quinn Michelle Quinn started as an Appraiser Trainee for Houston County in August 2017. She has been with Houston County since 2008, most recently with the auditor’s office and made a lateral move into the assessor’s office. She attended St. Mary’s University. Michelle and husband Jim have one son, Tristan, age 16, and live on acreage in Houston County that has been in the family for more than a century. In her free time, Michelle enjoys show Australian Shepherd dogs. Welcome aboard Michelle! Luke Onstad Luke Onstad was hired as an Appraiser Trainee for Houston County in September 2017. While new to the appraisal industry, he is not short on experience. Luke has worked most recently in construction, but also has experience as a mechanic, logger, roofer, and warehouse manager, and has raised beef cattle since the age of fourteen, as well as consistently farming on the side. He credits his great aunt, Dianne Allen, as an influence in joining the assessing community. Luke married wife Andrea in January 2018 and has a stepdaughter, Kaitlin. They all live with Willow, their Beagle, and Nala, their German Shepherd. Luke has a strong interest in spending time outdoors, and loves bow hunting and archery. He also is a licensed taxidermist and has his own small business. Congratulations Luke!

WHERE AM I?

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answer found elsewhere in this issue


TRANSITIONS

By Nancy Gunderson, SAMA Clay County Editorial Committee Member

Thomas G. Scherer Retiring from Hennepin County Tom’s assessing career started in May of 1985 at the City of St. Louis Park. He was hired as a part-time summer enumerator doing residential revaluation. Bruce Stepnick was the City Assessor then and he reported to the Residential Appraiser, Bob Wilson. In September 1985, Tom was hired by Hennepin County as an Assessment Tech. He worked as an Assessment Tech for a year and a half before being promoted to Junior Appraiser. When Bob Wilson became the City Assessor for Hopkins, Bruce approached him about replacing Bob as the Residential Appraiser for St. Louis Park, Tom took the position in March of 1988. In December of 1989, Bob Hanscom approached Tom about returning to Hennepin County as an Appraiser, which he accepted. Tom worked in the positions of residential appraiser and later Senior Appraiser doing commercial, industrial and apartment at which time he obtained both his SAMA and CAE designations. Late in the 1990s, Tom started taking some computer classes and soon afterwards, Larry Johanssen, who was the CAMA Manager for Hennepin County decided to retire. Tom May and Bill Effertz approached Tom about replacing Larry. After doing many years of tax court petitions Tom was ready for a change and accepted that position in 2002. As Hennepin’s CAMA Manager, he had the privilege to be involved in several great opportunities. He worked with a variety of staff to develop several software applications for the office. He reviewed CRVs (including minimizing the number of rejected sales such as reject code 26, not open market). He was part of the original group involved with the development of the State’s eCRV system. Tom also served on the MAAO Information Systems (IT) Committee and later the Sales Ratio Committee. In the last several years of his career, Tom has been very involved in the replacement of Hennepin’s CAMA and Tax systems. Though he is retiring from Hennepin, Tom will be looking for a part time work to supplement the income and have more time to spend with family and enjoy his hobbies. Tom stated that he has been fortunate to have a great family, which supported him over these many years. Tom and his wife, Joannie of almost 30 years, have three daughters – Catie, Jennifer, and Sarah. Tom and Joannie also have three grandchildren - Jonny, Josiah, and Hope; parents are Catie and her husband Brian. All three are great and Tom states that it’s so fun having grandkids. Tom plans to spend more time traveling as well. Joannie and he will be leaving May 5th for Europe. They booked a two-week cruise across the Atlantic and will spend time in Barcelona and Paris before flying home. Other hobbies are playing poker, hunting, and fishing. He also is an active member of the South Metro ATV Club. His grandson, Jonny enjoys riding with him at club events too. Tom feels fortunate to have worked as an Assessor here in our great state of Minnesota as we have many dedicated professions here. He enjoyed being part of the Hennepin County family as well as part of the greater Minnesota Assessment community.

Tom leaves us with these parting words: Best of Luck to you all in your future endeavors. Good Luck to you as well in your retirement Tom.

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Assessor soft skills

Teamwork In the Workplace

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By Laura Odgren, CMA Martin County, Editorial Committee Member

s I sat down to think about teamwork the first thing that came to mind was one of those inspirational posters that you would see hanging up in a middle school gym class boasting the cliché “there is no ‘I’ in team”. Although that is true on all accounts, this phrase doesn’t seem to give a full picture of what teamwork looks like in our adult lives, much less in the workplace. Most people would probably agree that teamwork and cooperation are important but why should we really take time to think about teamwork as it relates to our lives and more specifically our workplaces? Research in this area suggests that teamwork increases productivity, job satisfaction and encourages healthy risk-taking. While all of this is of great benefit to our offices and profession, it also benefits us on a personal level. When we feel productive and satisfied with our jobs, this can positivity affect other areas of our lives. 18

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Te a m w o r k I n t h e Wo r k p l a c e

Teamwork is commonly understood as the coordinated effort of people working toward a common goal. That seems simple enough but after being a part of a team, you know it is rarely that simple. This article will discuss some of the behaviors that undermine teamwork and then will look at some of the research that is being done on the subject to help us apply team building tendencies to our everyday lives.

and improve teamwork in the workplace? Alex Pentland and his team at MIT set out to study just that. In the April 2012 issue of the Harvard Business Review, Pentland discussed their study that looked at the science of teamwork. The study sought to determine what set productive, highperforming teams apart from the rest and most importantly how these findings could help strengthen other teams.

3. Members connected directly with one another—not just with the team leader.

Research has shown that many of the behaviors we observe and experience in the workplace may appear to be teamwork, but in actuality run counter to true teamwork. For instance, many may believe that teamwork involves conforming to various norms within the team.   According to the article A New Look at Group Cooperation and Collaboration by Ray Williams the opposite is often true.   In fact, William’s research found that people who do not conform to social norms are actually more likely to work together for the greater good than those who do conform.   Conformity can often look cooperative but, depending on the circumstances, may actually just reinforce an absence of teamwork.

In the study Pentland found that, among the high-performing teams, there was a ‘buzz’ of communication. He found that this ‘buzz’, however, had little to do with the content of the conversations between team members.  Instead it had more to do with the nature of the communication itself.

This study did not suggest that you should despair if your office fails to have the ‘it factor’ often seen in successful teams. In fact, the great news about these findings is that every team can practice these ideals to become better communicators and more successful teams. If teamwork and cooperation are not present in your workplace, you can take steps toward better communication and improve your results.

Another example of this false teamwork is talked about in the article Get Real About Teamwork by Loretta Breuning, Ph.D. In the article Breunig talks about the concept of “cooperative feeding” at zoos. During such feedings one zookeeper feeds the alpha animal while another keeper feeds the rest of the group. Zookeepers suggest that if this feeding plan was not in place, the other animals would refuse to eat for fear that the alpha would attack them.  Breunig suggests that “cooperative feeding” is anything but cooperation.   In our offices we may see examples of this behavior when we continue to do something because “that’s how we’ve always done it” or because we fear upsetting other people.  Hopefully we do not experience anything this dramatic in our workplaces, but it is possible that the fear of one person can dictate the entire group’s actions. So what can be done to increase cooperation

Using electronic sensors called badges, Pentland’s team was able to monitor individual’s communication patterns. These sensors did not monitor the content of their conversations in any way. Instead they measured the tone of voice of the individual, their body language, whom they talked to, where they talked to them and more.  In the article Pentland wrote, “with remarkable consistency, the data confirmed that communication indeed plays a critical role in building successful teams. In fact, we’ve found patterns of communication to be the most important predictor of a team’s success.” Pentland described that these patterns of communication explained the difference between high-performing teams and other teams that were seemingly identical but did not have the same performance results. The study found that many characteristics were common among successful teams.  A few of the common characteristics among the successful teams studied in Pentland’s research were the following:

in

4. Members used back-channel or side conversations within the team to enhance communication. 5. Members periodically broke from the group and went exploring outside the team to bring information back.

As an example, one office in Pentland’s research started taking a break at the same time every day. Although this may, on its face, seem counterproductive to productivity, the team actually saw great, quantitative improvement in their results because they were able to have this time of communicating with each other. So take time to think about how you and your team are working together. If there is improvement to be made, you might start by implementing some of the practices of successful teams from the research on the science of teamwork. Good luck!

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1. Everyone on the team talked and listened in roughly equal measure, keeping contributions short and sweet. 2. Members faced one another, and their conversations and gestures were energetic.

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The Residential Committee Presents: By Daryl Moeller, SAMA Chisago County

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bout a year ago the Executive Board for MAAO decided to change one of our committees from the CAMA committee to the Residential committee. They also decided to have a representative from every region of MAAO. Once we had our committee filled, with the guidance of past President Dan Whitman, we organized our first meeting. After introductions, we set up goals of what our committee wants to achieve and a mission statement. Our three goals are to identify residential topics that are relevant with Minnesota, prioritize topics to research and to educate assessor of these topics. Which leads us into our mission statement that we are dedicated to research and analyze topics of importance affecting residential assessment. We will strive to develop and educate best practices and promote consistency and equality throughout Minnesota. To get started we brainstormed ideas of topics that Regions are experiencing difficulty or might be the most inconsistent. We identified eighteen topics, which we then prioritized, to find which had the highest importance. Through this process we have chosen to start with grading a

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Making the Grade house and the attributes we see in these houses. Now that we had identified the topic, we needed to research. The first thing that we did was survey counties to find out how many grading codes are being used and what attributes are being collected in the appraisal process. When the results were in from the survey, we knew it was going to be a challenge to create a grading scale that would work for every county, as some counties had six grades while some had about fifty. We also quickly realized every county has their own unique way of coding their houses for their counties CAMA system. So we decided to create a grading scale with words like, low, fair, average, good, executive. We felt that when we write description of an average house, this could be true from Kittson to Houston and Rock to Cook and everywhere in between. What code and value you place on this average house, will still be up to the individual counties. Also as part of our research, we reached out to counties to volunteer to our committee their residential manuals. Luckily we had

a few counties who were willing to share what they are using. These counties have truly put forth a lot of effort to make their manuals a complete document and that appraisers in their counties can be consistent throughout their county. Our next goal moving forward is to research, what is good about the manuals that we are studying, and to organize a document that can be used by the counties that do not have a grading manual currently. I want to thank the members of the residential committee, Region 1 – John Conway, Region 2 – Michele Wills, Region 3 – Daryl Moeller, Region 4 – Gregg Swartwoudt, Region 5 – Chris McChesney, Region 6 – Bonnie Crosby, Region 7 – Kevin Scheidecker, Region 8 – Jill Murray, and Region 9 – Jen Blumers, Saray Garnett-Hochuli, and Brian Messer. It is the willingness of these MAAO members to be involved and to strive to improve the tools we have for the residential assessing in our state. So how many grades of houses do you see?


How Many

Grades

Do You

See? Spring 2018 | Equal Eyes

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Classifieds c

By Amber Hill, CMA Polk County Editorial Committee Member

167 Egret Lane Marine - Washington County $659,000 https://www.coldwellbankerhomes .com https://www.coldwellbankerhomes.com

To be built in the Jackson Meadow Development, this future home would be approximately 1,920 square feet featuring four bedrooms, two full baths, two half baths, and fireplace.

Standard Home Features · Design / Architecture by David Salmela · Exterior siding of Cedar, Fir or Hari-board · Exterior color must be white paint or white opaque stain · All windows and doors must be Loewen brand · All roofs are constructed of 24ga. Standing Seam Flat Non-Striated Steel Galvalume—12 x 12 pitch · Poured concrete foundations

https://www.coldwellbankerhomes.com

Community is surrounded by 250+ acres of hilly landscape. Over six miles of year-round trails are perfect for walking, cross-training, cycling, and Nordic skiing. https://wwwwashington.minnesotassessors.com

Community Guiding Principles · Land preservation, restoration, and stewardship · A sense of neighborhood & community · An opportunity for a healthy outdoor lifestyle · A neighborhood with diversity of ages & interests · Children roam free to discover nature’s playground · Recognition of the community heritage within Marine on St. Croix · High quality construction of homes · Distinctive and functional architecture· Energy conservation · A distinctive and amazing sense of peace

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Equal Eyes | Spring 2018


What You Get For

New Construction Minneapolis - Anoka County Built in 2017 / Sold for $490,037.00 4 Bedroom 2 Full, three quarter, and half bath. 2,443 SF + 1,124 SF basement finish Features fireplace, wired, and sprinkler system.

Isanti - Isanti County Built in 2017 / Sold for $229,900 3 Bedroom 1 and three-quarter bath 1,276 SF + No basement finish Elk River - Sherburne County Built in 2017 / Sold for $321,600 4 bedroom 3 full bath 2,442 SF + No basement finish Features fireplace. Moorhead - Clay County Construction complete 2017 / Sold for $221,650 3 Bedroom 2 Full bath, 1 three-quarter 1,337 SF + 585 SF Basement finish

Edina - Hennepin County Construction Completed 2017 / Sold for $1,600,000 5 bedroom 2 full bath, 2 three-quarter baths, and half bath 3,172 SF + 1,502 SF basement finish Features sport court. Spring 2018 | Equal Eyes

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The Top

10

By Jamie Freeman, SAMA Clearwater County Editorial Committee Member

Beyond Tile for the Bathroom Floor. Don’t get me wrong…. I like tile, and for good reason. Tile has been the most popular choice for bathroom flooring for years. It has a clean, classic look that’s also durable, waterproof and stain-resistant. Essentially everything you need in a bathroom floor. Today’s homeowners, however, are striving to showcase their individual styles and create a unique space for themselves. And these homeowners are looking beyond tile for the bathroom floor. Even though this is a top 10 list, these floorings are listed in no particular order. It’s more of a personal choice when it comes to selecting floor coverings.

Bamboo: What can I say, bamboo flooring sounds chic and

exotic. It’s made from a highly sustainable resource, it’s ecofriendly and it’s easy on the wallet. Since it only takes the bamboo plant about three years to grow to full height and be harvested, it costs about half the price of other hardwood floors. Plus it looks amazing. Bamboo is extremely hardy and water resistant, making it a great choice for a contemporary bathroom. It comes in a wide range of patterns and natural color variations, from variegated tiger stripes to mottled burl looks.

Concrete: Not just concrete, but stamped concrete…this flooring

is definitely gaining popularity with homeowners. Talk about tough, it doesn’t get much stronger than concrete. And you can go with any style you want. Virtually any design can be imprinted, and the pattern will last as long as the floor itself. Concrete requires little maintenance and it’s extremely resistant to moisture and stains. Special dyes can be added to create your own customized color.

Vinyl: If you’re looking for a budget-friendly floor covering, than

vinyl might be a good option. This flooring has been around since the 1950’s and was used in bathrooms, kitchens, and rec rooms all across America. Vinyl has actually changed over the past few years. It now comes in a vast assortment of designs and colors. Vinyl is easy to clean, waterproof, and stain-proof. Easy installation makes vinyl a favorite of DIY’ers.

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Equal Eyes | Spring 2018


TOP 10, continued

Cork: Made from bark, cork is also a highly renewable

resource and great for the environment. It’s naturally water resistant and antibacterial, and it creates a striking and distinctive look in the bath. Cork can be stained any color, if desired, and is installed using mastic and grout. Sealing with a polyurethane topcoat will protect the floors from minor spills. Another perk of cork flooring: this unique product creates an amazingly quiet, comfortable, and long-lasting floor.

Pebble Flooring: With natural stone pebble flooring, nature

lovers can bring the outdoors inside. Pebble flooring is affixed to the subfloor with special epoxy coatings that are durable, water resistant, and beautiful. The texture of pebble flooring breathes life into a bathroom and it feels incredible underfoot. Some feel that an entire floor of stone pebbles is too much and opt for just the shower.

Carpet Tiles: While this product hasn’t been the most popular

choice historically, carpet tiles do allow you to personalize any floor by arranging colors, patterns, and textures in countless combinations. They are easily replaceable, slip resistant, and typically made of water-resistant synthetic fibers, making them a good choice for bathrooms. Carpet tiles can even be installed on top of your current flooring and easily removed when you’re ready for a change.

Glass Mosaic: Although this product is more common for

countertops, backsplashes, and walls, mosaic glass tiles on floors can instill a sense of luxury in the bathroom. It also has a nonporous surface that’s impervious to stains, mold, mildew and chemical damage. The tile choices are either solid or multicolored, which can then be arranged in simple or intricate patterns. Glass mosaic sure seems to be a popular choice for homeowners on the home improvement shows this year. Spring 2018 | Equal Eyes

25


TOP 10, continued Marble: Marble is a natural floor surface that is quarried from

mountains around the world. This traditional stone material can be expensive, but nothing quite matches marble for its luxurious appearance. It adds a level of sophistication and style to a bathroom that other materials simply can’t match. Marble is available in a wide range of natural colorations. It’s water resistant and very easy to clean and maintain.

Sea Grass: Sustainable sea grass flooring is a natural fiber

constructed from flowing plants founds in marshes. It’s naturally nonporous and water resistant. It repels mold and mildew, and it’s super easy to clean. What more could you ask for in a bathroom floor? Apparently, sea grass flooring is all the rage this year and it feels great on the tootsies.

Hardwood Flooring: A timeless choice that rarely loses popularity, hardwood floors create a warm and classic look in the bathroom. There are many choices available with hardwood flooring, it’s offered in a huge range of materials, styles and finishes. Hardwood flooring, however, doesn’t play well with water and should be sealed when used in bathrooms and other areas where moisture is present.

E E

Where Am I?

The World’s Largest Tiger Muskie is located in: Nevis, Minnesota

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Equal Eyes | Spring 2018


out of the past

Remembering Yesterday 5 Years Ago—2013 

Cass county took the “plunge” and jumped into Leach Lake. The “Pout Dynasty” team raised $1,600 for the Walker Area Community Center.

10 Years Ago—2008 

Hennepin County Assessor Tom May and the MAAO Sales Ratio Committee, in cooperation with the MNDOR produced an advisory document to assist assessors dealing with the rising tide of foreclosures. Nancy Gunderson of the City of Moorhead, Tim Graul of Dakota County, Matt Gersemehl of the City of Bloomington, and Brian Kieser of the City of Minneapolis received their Senior Accreditations

15 Years Ago—2003 

Minnesota pulled rank as the Most Livable State for the seventh consecutive year, according to Morgan Quitno, an independent research firm and publisher of State Rankings 2003.

By Amber Hill, CMA Polk County Editorial Committee Member

30 Years Ago—1988

A cooperative effort by the MAAO Tax Court Committee, the Minnesota Tax Court and the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office produced a hugely popular Mock Trial Seminar at the Summer Conference in St. Cloud.

20 Years Ago—1998 

Gubernatorial candidate Jesse Ventura, sympathizing with complaints that taxes on cabins and recreational homes were too high, said that he supported giving married couples the right to claim one house each as a homestead.

25 Years Ago—1993 

1993 was the year the Minnesota Legislature gave us “this old house” and the new version of limited market value. Apparently, the Minnesota House was pushing “this old house” while the Senate was promoting the new limited market value. To “compromise” they enacted both.

Governor Rudy Perpich began work on a property tax reform plan that would reduce the number of classifications to four and a general goal of a ten percent reduction in the average statewide net tax burden for commercial property. The average value of Minnesota Farmland was $480 per acre, according to the Minnesota Extension Service

40 Years Ago—1978 

Kenneth W. Johnson, the Saint Cloud City Assessor, was elected President of the MAAO, marking the first time a city assessor held the office.

Spring 2018 | Equal Eyes

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tax court profile By Jake Pidde, AMA Stearns County Editorial Committee Member

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TAX COURT , CONTINUED

Spring 2018 | Equal Eyes

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TAX COURT, CONTINUED

Continued on following page 30

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TAX COURT, CONTINUED

Continued on following page

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TAX COURT, CONTINUED

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TAX COURT, CONTINUED

Spring 2018 | Equal Eyes

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State Board of Assessors Meeting Minutes Tuesday, September 19, 2017 St. Michael City Center

Provided by Bobbi Spencer Minnesota Department of Revenue

State Board of Assessors Meeting Minutes St. Michael City Center Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Chairperson Brian Koester convened the meeting at 9:00am. Board members in attendance: Gary Amundson Reed Heidelberger Joy Kanne

Brian Koester Gregg Larson Dave Marhula

Charlie Blekre, Andrea Fish and Jane Grossinger were unable to attend. Dave Marhula made a motion to approve the January 16, 2018 agenda. Reed Heidelberger seconded the motion. The motion carried. Minutes of the November 21, 2017 meeting were reviewed. Gary Amundson moved to approve the minutes. Dave Marhula seconded the motion. The motion carried.

Election of Officers 

Nomination for Vice Chair: Dave Marhula made a motion to nominate Gary Amundson for vice chair. Reed Heidelberger seconded the nomination. Joy Kanne made a motion that all nominations cease and a unanimous ballot be cast. Gregg Larson seconded the motion. The motion carried. Gary Amundson is the vice chair for 2018.

Nomination for Chair: Reed Heidelberger made a motion to nominate Brian Koester as chair. Gregg Larson seconded the nomination. Dave Marhula made a motion that all nominations cease and a unanimous ballot be cast. Gary Amundson seconded the motion. The motion carried. Brian Koester is the chair for 2018.

Grading Committee Appointments

34

Form Report Grading Committee: Gregg Larson made a motion to reappoint form report committee members Tamara Anderson, Patrick Chapman as chair, Kyle Holmes, Kim Jensen, Keith Kern, Rebecca Malmquist, Ann Miller, Nate Stulc, Patrick Todd, and Bob Wilson. Dave Marhula seconded the motion. The motion carried.

Narrative Grading Committee: Dave Marhula made a motion to reappoint narrative committee members Kim Jensen, Rebecca Malmquist, and Bob Wilson as chair. Reed Heidelberg seconded the motion. The motion carried.

Equal Eyes | Spring 2018


state board of assessors meeting minutes, continued

Board of Assessors January 16, 2018

Meeting Minutes Page 2 of 5

Updates 

Form Report Update Submitted Reports

Approved Reports

Rejected Reports

Reports being Graded

July 1, 2013–December 31, 2013

6

6

0

0

January 1, 2014–June 30, 2014

13

13

0

0

July 1, 2014–December 31, 2014

13

13

0

0

January 1, 2015 – June 30, 2015

15

15

0

0

July 1, 2015 – December 31, 2015

13

12

1

0

January 1, 2016 – June 30, 2016

33

33

0

0

July 1, 2016 – December 31, 2016

26

25

1

0

January 1, 2017 – June 30, 2017

19

17

2

0

July 1, 2017 – December 31, 2017

9

9

0

0

January 1, 2018 – January 16, 2018 Passed Reports Received Received (7/1/2013 – AMA SAMA 1/16/2018)

0

0

0

0

Dates

138 

77

6

Received CMAS

Have not applied for AMA yet

Not enough experience

7

48

0

Rule Changes: Rule documents were sent out the week of December 26, 2017 to the Governor’s Office and Minnesota Management and Budget.

 AMA Waiver Exam Update from Joy Kanne: The committee met on January 9, 2018 and

decided that the test will be a written test only and there is a good start on developing the questions. The committee decided to reach out to those assessors that qualify to take the exam to see what interest is out there. The committee will meet again in March to review and determine what questions will be on the test.

 MAAO Education Committee update from Brian Koester & Gary Amundson: Brian

Koester reported that there has been discussion about summer seminars and fall conference. Gary Amundson was unable to attend the summit in Scott County on December 5th due to bad weather.

Spring 2018 | Equal Eyes 2

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state board of assessors meeting minutes, continued

Board of Assessors January 16, 2018

Meeting Minutes Page 3 of 5

Approved Continuing Education Hours Requests 

2017 Education Summit: Jackie Coulter requested CEH’s for this summit that was held on December 5, 2017 sponsored by MAAO. The board’s continuing education committee approved this request for 5.5 continuing education hours.

 Get in the Game - Tackle Public Finance Seminar: Elizabeth Diaz requested CEH’s for this

seminar that will be held on February 1 – 2, 2018 sponsored by Ehlers & Associates. The board’s continuing education committee approved this request for 6 continuing education hours.

Applications for Certified Minnesota Assessor Gregg Larson made a motion to award the Certified Minnesota Assessor license to the following individuals. Shirly Abear, Lyon County Brian Anderson, Steele County Tedman Anderson, Anoka County Theodore Buhner, Nobles County Hilary Dischinger, Anoka County Jean Grahek, Ramsey County Benjamin Hamill, Anoka County Annalee Jones, Polk County Jessie Jurek, City of Minneapolis Nikki Kemp, Winona County Jethro Oelrich, City of Coon Rapids Laura Ramboldt, Goodhue County Paul Schoonover, St. Louis County Vilma Topuzi, Not employed as an assessor at this time Anthony Troumbly, Itasca County Nong Vang, City of Minneapolis Ronald Volkman, Winona County Jeremy Zierden, Freeborn County Gary Amundson seconded the motion. The motion carried.

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Equal Eyes | Spring 2018

3


state board of assessors meeting minutes, continued

Board of Assessors January 16, 2018

Meeting Minutes Page 4 of 5

Applications for Accredited Minnesota Assessor Dave Marhula made a motion to award the Accredited Minnesota Assessor license to the following individuals. Kathryn Korte, Stearns County Corey Schwartz, Le Sueur County Maria Shepherd, Hubbard County Tim Vang, Dakota County Tom Widmer, Le Sueur County Steve Young, Local Assessor in Grant & Stevens County Gregg Larson seconded the motion. The motion carried. Gary Amundson made a motion to invite Joel Dulski, Otter Tail County, Lisa Lindeman, Carver County, Tom Shoemaker, Carver County to return for a second oral interview. Dave Marhula seconded the motion. The motion carried.

Application for Senior Accredited Minnesota Assessor Reed Heidelberger made a motion to award the Senior Accredited Minnesota Assessor license to the following individual. Theresa Felix, Cass County Krista Krupa, Kandiyohi County Matthew Naatz, Dodge County Adam Swart, City of Eden Prairie Jim Swenson, City of Minneapolis Mary Wells, Local Assessor in Murray & Pipestone County Joy Kanne seconded the motion. The motion carried.

Appointment with the Board MAAO Course Update: Jackie Coulter, MAAO Education Coordinator provided a 2017 course registration and results report showing a breakdown on attendance, pass, fail, retest pass & retest fail results. A list of all the MAAO 2018 courses along with the documented current attendance and registrations were also on the report. The board will invite Jackie back every year to share these types of reports to keep the board informed on how the courses are going.

Spring 2018 | Equal Eyes 4

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state board of assessors meeting minutes, continued

Board of Assessors January 16, 2018

Meeting Minutes Page 5 of 5

Discussion Items 

Ethics Course & Continuing Education Policy: The board reviewed the current continuing education requirements policy for reinstatement of an assessor’s license in a new 4-year cycle. The continuing education policy for reinstatement was revised as follows:  Continuing education requirements must be met for the previous four (4) year cycle, including ethics.  For AMA and SAMA reinstatements, this includes the requirement for PACE.  The Ethics course is rewritten every 4 years so instead of taking it twice to fulfill both 4year cycles the assessor will only take it once but will not receive continuing education hours in order for the Ethics course to apply to both cycles. Gary Amundson made a motion to adopt the changes to the continuing education requirements for reinstatement. Gregg Larson seconded the motion. The motion carried.

Newsletter Ideas: Seven topics were decided on for the upcoming newsletter. During the discussion, it was decided to remove the licensing renewal 60-day grace period policy. Dave Marhula made a motion to remove the 60-day grace period policy once the rule changes take effect. In addition, the effective date of the license will be the date of the reinstatement. Joy Kanne seconded the motion. The motion carried.

Complaint Procedures: Reviewed final draft. Gary Amundson made a motion to adopt the complaint procedures. Reed Heidelberger seconded the motion. The motion carried.

The chairperson set the next meeting date as Tuesday, March 20, 2018 at the St. Michael City Center in St. Michael at 9:00 am. Dave Marhula made a motion to pay the expenses for the meeting. Joy Kanne seconded the motion. The motion carried. Reed Heidelberger made a motion to adjourn the meeting. motion carried.

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Dave Marhula seconded the motion. The

5


In Loving Memory

Brian Koester

July 19, 1963- February 26, 2018

Benton County Assessor

Official Publication of the Minnesota Association of Assessing Officers mnmaao.org

Spring 2018 | Equal Eyes

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Spring 2018 equal eyes  
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