Residential damage tops $14 million, abatements possible
The tornado that struck Wadena County caused damage to 562 taxable properties, causing an estimated $14,727,900 in damages.
Of those 562 damaged properties, 105 sustained greater than 50 percent damage or loss. The value lost on those 105 properties is about $10,480,000. Properties sustaining damage of greater than 50 percent are eligible for a tax abatement from the county, reimbursable by the state. This process requires several steps, including a unanimous declaration by the county board of a local disaster area.
Letters are to be sent to the owners of those 105 properties with greater than 50 percent damage stating the second half 2010 property taxes should not be paid until they are notified by the county auditor/treasurer's office. A recalculation of the property taxes will be completed and then notice of balance due or refund of property taxes will be sent to affected property owners. Funds will then be distributed to local taxing districts.
For reimbursement from the state, once the local disaster is declared, the board must then pass a resolution requesting property tax relief from the state; that resolution was passed unanimously. Property damage assessments and summary must be completed and documents are then submitted to Homeland Security and Emergency Management for determination of request for tax relief.