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Underwood School District

Property Tax Information Site
Underwood School District

This site provides information to the taxpayers of the Underwood School District regarding how the district's proposed bond referendum will affect their property taxes. The site was prepared by the school district's financial advisors, Ehlers, in cooperation with the school district. If you have questions about the information on this site, you may call Ehlers at the numbers listed below.

To skip directly to the tax impact calculator for homeowners, click here.

About the Referendum

The district will be holding a special election on May 20, 2014, seeking voter approval that would authorize the district to issue up to $3,400,000 in bonds to fund the acquisition and betterment of school sites and facilities; including improvements to and the construction of an addition to the existing Underwood Public School building and a new bus garage.

For additional information on how the funds would be used, click on the "Return to School District Website" button above.

Impact on Property Taxes

Approval of this ballot question would cause an increase in property taxes for 16 years, beginning with taxes payable in 2015. To determine the estimated impact of the proposed ballot question on your 2015 taxes, follow the steps below. We suggest that first you find your "Notice of Valuation and Classification" (mailed by the County in the spring of 2013) or your "Proposed Property Tax Statement" (mailed by the County in November of 2013).

Step 1. Determine the 2013 Payable 2014 Estimated Market Value of your property. The tax impact of the proposed bond issue will begin with taxes payable in 2015, which will be based on the 2014 Estimated Market Value (EMV). This value is not currently available, so you will need to use your 2013 Payable 2014 value to approximate the tax impact. If you believe the Estimated Market Value of your property has increased from 2013 to 2014, you may want to estimate an appropriate increase.

You may use one of the following methods to determine the 2013 Payable 2014 estimated market value:

  1. If you have the 2013 Notice of Valuation mailed in the spring of 2013 available (for taxes payable in 2014), find the number labeled "Estimated Market Value" in the 2014 valuation column.
  2. If you have your 2014 Proposed Property Tax Notice statement,find the number labeled "Estimated Market Value" for Tax Payable Year 2014.
  3. If you don't have either of these documents, please contact Ehlers for your estimated tax impact. Otter Tail County has provided Ehlers with valuation records for all properties in the county that are in the Underwood School District. You may call the Ehlers Property Tax Hotline (800-552-1171) during regular business hours and ask to speak to any member of the Education Team. You may also send an e-mail message to mnschools@ehlers- inc.com. If you prefer to get the information directly from the County, you can call the Otter Tail County Auditor (218-998-8030) and ask them for your 2013 payable 2014 estimated market value.

Step 2. Verify what type of property you own. If your property is an owner-occupied home, your Property Tax Statement and your Notice of Valuation and Classification will list the Property Classification as "Residential Homestead" or "Res. Hstd." If this is the case, go to step 3. If you own any other type of property, skip to step 5.

Step 3. For residential homestead property only, enter the 2014 Estimated Market Value below to see the projected tax increase for your property.

Estimated Market Value:   


Step 4. Review the information below regarding how various state and federal programs may affect the property tax increases.

  1. Minnesota Property Tax Refund.

    If your adjusted gross income is less than $105,500, you may qualify for the Minnesota Property Tax Refund (also known as the "Circuit Breaker" refund). This program, which has existed since the 1970s, is intended to reduce tax burdens for homeowners with relatively low incomes and relatively high property tax burdens. Some important facts about this program are summarized below.

    • Available to all owners of residential homestead and agricultural property with incomes of less than $105,500
    • Refund is on a sliding scale, based on your income and your total property tax burden
    • The maximum refund is $2,580
    • To determine eligibility and refund amounts, complete Minnesota tax form M1PR (available online at www.taxes.state.mn.us).

    If you qualify for this program, you may receive an additional refund of up to 80 percent of the amount of the property tax increase caused by the proposed referendum. For example, if the referendum increases your property taxes by $70 per year, your refund may cover up to $56 of this increase..

  2. Special Property Tax Refund

    If your total property taxes increase by more than 12 percent and more than $100 from one year to the next, you may qualify for a state refund equal to a portion of the increase. There is no income limit for this refund. To determine eligibility and refund amounts complete Minnesota tax form M1PR (available online at www.taxes.state.mn.us).

  3. Deductibility of Property Taxes for State and Federal Income Taxes

    If you itemize deductions for federal income taxes, you may deduct all property taxes paid. Therefore, any increase in property taxes resulting from the proposed referendum will reduce your income tax liability. The reduction in income taxes may be as much as 42 percent of the increase in property taxes, depending on your total income and other credits and deductions.

  4. Senior Citizen Property Tax Deferral

    The Senior Citizen Property Tax Deferral Program was established to help senior citizens who are having difficulty paying their property taxes. This deferral program has two primary advantages for senior citizens:

    • It limits the maximum amount of property tax you pay to 3 percent of your total household income, and
    • It provides predictability. The amount of tax you pay will not change for as long as you participate in this program.

    The Senior Citizens Property Tax Deferral program allows people 65 years of age or older, whose household incomes are $60,000 or less, to defer a portion of their property tax on their home. For more information go to: http://www.revenue.state.mn.us/propertytax/ .

    Under the General Information heading, click on Fact Sheets and then click on Senior Citizen Property Tax Deferral.

Step 5: For all other types of property (other than residential homestead), follow these steps.

If your property is not classified as residential homestead, there are two methods you may use to obtain estimates of the tax impact of the referendum.

Method A. Use the table of sample properties below.

Find your type of property in the table, find the sample value that is closest to your property's 2013 Payable 2014 Estimated Market Value (EMV), and look up the projected tax impact for that example. If your EMV is between two of the values shown in the table, you can estimate the tax impact by "interpolating".

Method B. Contact Ehlers

If your type of property is not shown in the table, or if you would like a more precise estimate, you may call the Ehlers Property Tax Hotline or send an e-mail message to Ehlers. If you own agricultural homestead property, we recommend that you use this method.

  1. First find the Property I.D. number(s) for all parcels of property that you own. This number is normally shown in the upper left corner of your property tax statement.
  2. Either call or e-mail Ehlers, as explained below.
    1. Call the Ehlers Property Tax Hotline (see phone numbers below) during regular business hours (8 to 5 Monday - Friday) and ask to speak to any member of the Education Team. Tell the Ehlers representative that you are calling about the tax impact of the Underwood School District referendum and read them the Property I.D. number(s) for your property.
    2. Send an e-mail message to mnschools@ehlers-inc.com. Include the following information in your message: your name, a daytime phone number, the property I.D. number(s) for all parcels of property you own within the school district, and the county that the property parcels are located in.
  3. An Ehlers representative will contact your county to find the tax capacity of your property, calculate the tax impact, and either call you back or send you an e-mail message.

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Contacting Ehlers

This site was prepared by Ehlers & Associates, Inc., the school district's financial advisors. If you have questions about the information on the site, or if you would like more information about how the proposed referendum will affect your taxes, call the Ehlers Property Tax Hotline (Twin Cities area call 651-697-8500, or Greater Minnesota call 1-800-552-1171) during regular business hours and ask to speak to any member of the Education Team.

You may also send an e-mail message to mnschools@ehlers-inc.com; please include your name and a daytime phone number so that we may contact you if we need more information.