Survey of Property Tax Deferments in Southeastern Minnesota

Dunlap Law Insights

Many counties in Minnesota have passed property tax deferments and penalty waivers for the first installment due May 15. The following is a survey of the current property tax relief measures in southeastern MN counties:

Olmsted County
The Olmsted County Board of Commissioners approved a one-time, temporary abatement of penalties and interest which would normally accrue following late property tax payments. The county Board has extended the first half payment deadline from May 15th to July 15, 2020.

The abatement of penalties and interest for any late payments not made before July 15, 2020 does not apply to property taxes which are paid by escrow.

Partial property tax payments will be accepted up to July 15, 2020.

Fillmore County
Penalties for late payments temporarily abated for payments postmarked by July 15th, 2020 for the payment due on May 15th 2020, EXCEPT:

Taxpayers whose property taxes are escrowed, or those who cumulatively owe $25,000.00 or more for the 2020 year in property taxes. For such taxpayers, payment is due May 15, 2020, and penalties will be applied thereafter, and shall not be abated.

Freeborn County
The Freeborn County Board of Commissioners has approved a temporary abatement of the penalties for late first half property tax payments. Late payment penalties will begin to accrue from May 16 through July 15, 2020. Penalties for late payment will only apply to payments made after July 15, 2020.

Mower County
Mower County Board of Commissioners voted to abate penalties incurred from late tax payments. Penalties and interest will not accrue until after July 15, 2020.

Steele County
Steele County has relief measures for property taxes due May 15, 2020, including providing an abatement of penalties for tax payments on or after May 16, 2020, and before July 15, 2020.

Winona County
County Board of Commissioners approved abatement of penalties and interest for payments due May 15, 2020 until July 15, 2020. The measure extends to all property tax payments except those made through escrow accounts.

Dodge County
Dodge County will not be forgiving penalties for late property tax payments.

Blue Earth County
Blue Earth County has waived late payment penalties on first half property tax payments until July 15, 2020.

Goodhue County
Goodhue County has enacted a Property Tax Abatement of Penalty program. Other than taxes paid through escrow, taxpayers wishing to benefit from the abatement must submit a Property Tax Abatement of Penalty Application by May 31, 2020. Not all applicants may be approved. Applicants may receive some form of penalty relief. Approved applicants will receive the abatement through June 30th, 2020. Any property taxes paid on or after July 1, 2020 are subject to standard penalties.

Wabasha County
Wabasha County is not instituting an abatement program for property tax penalties.

Houston County
Houston County has agreed to waive penalties, if taxpayers are not able to make their tax payments, through July 15, 2020.

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On Thursday, April 16, Minnesota Chamber of Commerce President Doug Loon urged legislative leaders to adopt a 60-day extension of the May 15 property tax payment for business property taxpayers, without accruing late payment penalties or interest. Previously, the Minnesota Department of Revenue announced an extension of sales and uses taxes due in March and April to May 20. However, no such extension of property taxes due has been granted by the legislature.

It is important to note that any extension to the due date for first half property taxes must be approved by the state legislature. Counties lack that authority. As such, first half payments remain due by May 15, 2020.

Property owners seeking to take advantage of this extension/abatement should also be aware of potential effects this move may have on those appealing property taxes payable in 2020. That deadline was previously extended from April 30, 2020 to May 30, 2020. However, these actions are statutorily dismissed if first half taxes are not paid by May 15, 2020. As things stand, this deadline remains in effect. If a property owner is appealing property taxes, they should still make payments by May 15, 2020.