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How Do I Homestead My Property?

Homesteading Property


Minnesota State Law provides for a reduction to the general property tax for certain property that is occupied as a person's primary place of residence.  These properties fall under the homestead classification.   A person who meets the requirements for the homestead classification must file a homestead application with the county assessor to initially obtain the homestead classification.   To apply for homestead, the owner must own and occupy the property as their primary residence or the property may be occupied by a qualifying relative of the owner on January 2nd of the assessment year.  

  The following forms are available online.  Please click on the link that pertains.  

Homestead Form

Homestead Form - Spanish Version

Trust Homestead Form **

Non-homestead Request   

**If you own your property in a trust, we request that you fill out both the Trust Homestead form and also the Homestead Form.

All completed applications must be returned by mail or in person to our office.  Faxed or e-mailed forms will be rejected.  

At any time, the county assessor may require you to provide an additional application or other proof deemed necessary to verify that you continue to qualify for the homestead classification.
 

What does homestead mean?

The 2011 Legislature repealed the Homestead Market Value credit and replaced it with a new Homestead Market Value Exclusion.  If you would like more understanding of this new homestead, please click on the following link: Understanding Recent Changes in Homestead Benefits

If you sell, move or change your marital status, if this property is sold, you or your spouse changes your primary residence, or you change your marital status, state law requires you to notify the county assessor within 30 days. If you fail to notify the county assessor within 30 days of the change, the property may be assessed the tax that is due on the property based on its correct property class plus a penalty equal to the same amount.

How does a property I own qualify for a homestead exclusion?

Homestead is available for residential, agricultural, commercial properties with residential space, apartments, and manufactured homes. You may be eligible for a full (100%) homestead, or a partial homestead in some instances. To qualify for a homestead, you must meet all of the following requirements:

  • You must be one of the owners of the property, or be a qualifying relative of at least one of the owners. A qualifying relative includes a child, step-child, daughter-in-law, son-in-law, parent, stepparent, parent-in-law, grandchild, grandparent, brother, brother-in-law, sister, sister-in-law, aunt, uncle, niece, or nephew of the owner. Family farm corporations, farm partnerships, certain trusts and life estates (as long as the life estate interest is shown on the deed, and the holder of the life estate meets all the homestead requirements) are also eligible for homestead credits.
  • You must own and occupy the property as your primary place of residence by December 1st of the assessment year. Special agricultural homestead programs exist that enable an owner to live elsewhere and still receive homestead on the agricultural property.
  • You must be a Minnesota resident. (If a residential class property is the primary residence of a qualifying relative of an owner, it is not necessary for the owner to be a Minnesota resident.)

  • You must apply for homestead by December 15th of the assessment year. This application requires that you supply the names and Social Security numbers of all of the owners of the property and if the property is not owner occupied, the names and Social Security numbers of the owner's qualifying relatives who occupy the property as their primary place of residence. You may make application by the one of the following ways:
- in person at the Sibley County Assessor’s Office, 400 Court Ave, 2nd Floor Annex, Gaylord, MN;
- or you may call the Assessor's Office at (507) 237-4078 and an application will be sent to you by mail or e-mail;
- or you are able to print the homestead form off the website link.
 
It is recommended that you make application as soon as possible after you purchase a property, even though the deadline may be many months from the date of your purchase.
 
Other special circumstances may exist that would allow homestead status on a property. Please contact the Assessor's office if you have questions regarding your particular situation.

Why must I provide my Social Security Number?

State law (MS 273.124, subd. 13 par.c) requires that every property owner applying for homestead classification must provide the County Assessor with a Social Security number of each occupant who is listed as owner of the property on the deed of record, including each owner's spouse who occupies the property. Each owner and their spouse who occupies the property must sign the application. In the case of a relative homestead, each relative and spouse of a relative occupying the property must provide a Social Security number and sign the application.

Social Security numbers provided to this office are considered to be confidential information and will not be disclosed to the public. Under state law (MS 273.124, Subd. 13 Par.g,h) they may be given by the county assessor to the Minnesota Department of Revenue to determine whether you have applied for the homestead classification for other properties.

Are homesteads on all property the same?

No. The homestead is based on a number of factors. First, the homestead decreases as the property's market value increases over a certain level established by law. Second, not all properties are eligible for full (100%) homestead. Third, there are other exclusions attached to homestead properties, such as exclusions for the blind, disabled, paraplegic, or disabled veteran that may also affect the amount of the homestead received.

I own and live in a manufactured home located in a mobile home park, are the homestead rules the same?

The basic rules allowing homestead status are the same for manufactured homes located on rented sites (these manufactured homes are taxed as personal property) as they are for all other real estate. The application deadline, however, is May 29th of the assessment year, which is also the year in which the taxes are due for personal property.

What if I fail to comply with homestead laws or file a false homestead application?

A property owner who obtains or attempts to obtain homestead classification for a property other than his or her primary place of residence or the primary place of residence of his or her relative is, under Minnesota Statute 609.41, subject to a fine of up to $3,000 and/or up to one year of imprisonment. In addition, a penalty equal to 100 percent of the total homestead benefit will be added to the corrected tax amount under Minnesota Statute 273.124, subd. 13.

What if the owner moves to a nursing home or assisted living facility?

As long as the home is maintained as the owner's homestead, the property will remain homestead. If the property is rented, offered for sale, or otherwise occupied by someone other than the owner, the property will become non-homestead for the following assessment year.

My neighbor goes “South” every winter. How long can an owner be gone without losing their homestead?

An owner of property may be away from home for a reasonable length of time without depriving the property of the homestead classification provided it is maintained as a home awaiting the owner's return. An owner cannot maintain the property as a homestead if it is rented in the owner's absence. The owner must retain his Minnesota residency in order to continue to claim homestead.

We own two properties in 
Minnesota and live at each for 6 months, can we claim homestead at both?

No. An owner may not have the benefits of the homestead classification in more than one place.

What if the owner is in the military and is absent due to active service?

The owner of a property that is on active duty in the military, or away from home due to service in the Peace Corps or VISTA, is entitled to homestead if they intend to return to the home after they are discharged or their service is completed and they continue to claim the property as their homestead.

Can I claim homestead in one home and my spouse claim homestead in another home?

There are only five potential reasons to extend a separate homestead to married couples. If only one of the spouses occupies the property and the other spouse is absent due to:

    • Pending marriage dissolution proceedings;
    • Legal separation;
    • Employment or self-employment in another location. In this case, both spouses must be employed or self-employed and the places of employment or self-employment must be a least 50 miles apart. Additionally, the homesteads must be 50 miles apart;
    • Other personal circumstances, not including intent to obtain two homestead classifications

Please contact the Sibley County Assessor's Office if you have additional questions or need further assistance. 
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