If there's one thing constant about 2020 it's change.  So goes the protocols in place for field inspections by the St. Louis County Assessor's Department. As they get ready to start the busy fall appraisal schedule of new construction, they're evolving the way that they're performed - with some on-site inspections being reintroduced to the process.

Earlier this summer - in response to the COVID-19 Pandemic, the St. Louis County Assessor's Office stopped entering the buildings and structures that they were inspecting; to perform the inspections they did earlier in the year, the assessor's staff did 'drive-by' observations, never leaving their vehicle.  Now that procedure is changing.

According to information shared by St. Louis County officials, inspectors will now visit the land parcels on foot to ensure accuracy:

"Staff will....likely need to make a physical inspection on foot in order to view any new construction and to grade and measure any new structures.  If assessment staff believe it is necessary to view a property that has changed, the standard guidelines for inspecting property will be followed.  Additionally, social distancing guidelines will be followed at all times and masks will be worn."

The need for the change to physical inspections this fall is due to the impending property tax assessments.  These visits to land parcels constitute their 2021 assessment, for taxes that will eventually be payable in 2022.  The physical inspections help the assessor's office in ensuring that property data is accurate and it will help them determine a fair and equitable market value of each property for tax purposes.

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Taxpayers will see the yield of these assessments when their Notices of Valuation and Classification are mailed to them.  These notices usually make their way to mailboxes in the spring of the year.

Land owners with questions are directed to call the closest Assessor's Office:

  • Duluth:  218-726-2304
  • Ely:  218-365-8236
  • Cook:  218-471-7220
  • Hibbing:  218-262-6089
  • Virginia:  218-749-7147

There's also a general toll-free number that is available for questions from taxpayers throughout St. Louis County. That toll-free number is 1-800-450-9777.

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