This site provides information for taxpayers of Independent School District 777 – Benson, regarding how the district’s proposed referendum may affect property taxes. The site was prepared in cooperation with Ehlers,  the district’s independent municipal advisor. If you have questions about the information on this site, please contact Ehlers using the information provided below.


About the Referendum

The district will hold a special election on Tuesday, April 14, 2020 seeking voter approval of one ballot question.

QUESTION 1 would authorize the district to issue up to $1,500,000 for acquisition and betterment of school sites and facilities including the construction and equipping of a multi-purpose facility to be used for the district’s gymnastics program and other school activities.

For more information on how these funds would be used, return to the District’s website.


Impact on Property Taxes

Approval of the ballot question would result in a property tax increase beginning with taxes payable in 2021, and the debt service tax levies would remain in place for 15 years. To determine the estimated impact of the proposed ballot question on your 2021 taxes, follow the instructions below or view sample property types and values here.

Your 2021 taxes will be based on the 2020 Estimated Market Value (EMV), which will be provided on the “Notice of Valuation and Classification” mailed by your county in March 2020 (see example). If you don’t have that document available, please contact your county and ask for the 2020 EMV for taxes payable in 2021, or follow the instructions below to look up your 2020 EMV on your county’s website.

Swift County
Assessor - (320) 842-5891

Click on the link below, check “I accept”, click “proceed” and then enter in your search criteria.  On the search results screen, click on the property owner’s name in the row that says “20xx Value for Tax Payable 20xx” for the most current year.  Click on the gray “Value Information” tab.  Find the “Total MKT” row; use the value on the LEFT in the tax calculator below.

Swift County Property Search

Pope County
Assessor - (320) 634-7715

Click on the link below, check “I accept”, click “proceed” and then enter in your search criteria.  On the search results screen, click on the property owner’s name in the row that says “20xx Value for Tax Payable 20xx” for the most current year.  Click on the gray “Value Information” tab.  Find the “Total MKT” row; use the value on the LEFT in the tax calculator below.

Pope County Property Search


ONLINE CALCULATORS: ESTIMATING TAX IMPACT

Residential Homestead Property
If you own a RESIDENTIAL HOMESTEAD property, enter the Estimated Market Value below to see the estimated tax impact
Enter only whole numbers to the nearest dollar
(no dollar signs, commas, or decimals).
Commercial / Industrial Property
If you own COMMERCIAL/INDUSTRIAL property, enter the Estimated Market Value below to see the estimated tax impact.
Enter only whole numbers to the nearest dollar
(no dollar signs, commas, or decimals).
Agricultural Property
If you own agricultural or other types of property, please complete the following form and submit it to Ehlers. Once we receive it, an Ehlers representative will contact your county to find the value and classification of your property, calculate the tax impact and contact you via phone or email with the results.  Please allow 1-3 days for completion. PLEASE NOTE: you may enter up to 10 property IDs by clicking the "+" button at the end of each row. For more than 10 properties, please contact Ehlers.
If you have any questions, please call Ehlers at 1-800-552-1171 and ask to speak with a member of our Education Team.

School Building Bond Agricultural Credit

This property tax credit originally took effect with property taxes payable in 2018.  For taxes payable in 2021, the credit reduces taxes for owners of agricultural property in an amount equivalent to 55% of the taxes attributable to school district debt service for all agricultural property, except for the house, garage, and one acre.  This credit is directly deducted from property taxes owed and applies to debt service levies for all types of existing and future bonds for construction and renovation projects.  For taxes payable in 2018 and 2019, the credit was equivalent to 40%.  The State is phasing in an increase to the credit: it was 50% for taxes payable in 2020, and it will be 55% for taxes payable in 2021, 60% for taxes payable in 2022, and for taxes payable 2023 and later the credit will be 70%.  The credit is paid through an open and standing appropriation, which means that no action by the Legislature is required each year for this credit to be paid from the state general fund.  The credit is automatically deducted on the tax statement and is included in the tax impact estimates provided by Ehlers.


There are certain Minnesota Tax Credits and Deferrals that may affect certain property owners’ situations. They include:

Minnesota Homestead Credit Refund

If your adjusted gross income is less than approximately $115,020, you may qualify for the Homestead Credit 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 each year to owners of homestead property
  • Applies only to the taxes attributable to the house, garage, and one acre on agricultural homestead property
  • Available to all owners of residential homestead and agricultural homestead property with household incomes of less than $115,020
  • Refund is on a sliding scale, based on your income and your total property tax burden
  • The maximum refund is $2,820
  • Also available to renters
  • To determine eligibility and refund amounts, complete Minnesota tax form M1PR
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.

Senior Citizen Property Tax Deferral

If you are 65 years or older and have a household income of $60,000 or less, you may be eligible to defer a portion of the property taxes on your home, through the Senior Citizen Property Tax Deferral Program. The program:

  • Limits the maximum amount of property tax you pay to 3 percent of your total household income
  • Provides predictability; the amount of tax you pay will not change for as long as you participate in this program