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.
The following forms are available online:
Homestead Form - Spanish Version
Trust Homestead Form
All completed applications must be returned by mail or in-person to our office.
Mail to: PO Box 532 Gaylord, MN 55334
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.
The 2011 Legislature repealed the Homestead Market Value Credit and replaced it with a new Homestead Market Value Exclusion. If you would like a better understanding of this new homestead calculation, please click on the following link: Understanding Recent Changes in Homestead Benefits
State law requires you to notify the County Assessor's Office within 30 days if any of the following situations occur:
* you sell your property
* you or your spouse move or no longer occupy your property
* your marital status changes
If you fail to notify the county assessor's office 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?
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. Details on qualifying relatives are on the homestead applications and vary depending on classification. Corporations, partnerships, trusts and life estates may also be eligible for a homestead exclusion in certain situations.
- You must own AND occupy the property as your primary place of residence by December 31st of the assessment year.
- You must be a Minnesota resident. (If a residential 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 31st 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. You may make application in one of the following ways:
mail or e-mail
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 occupy the property must sign the application. In the case of a relative homestead, each relative and spouse 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 exclusion amount is based on a number of factors. First, the homestead exclusion amount 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 may be other exclusions or reductions attached to homestead properties including but not limited to blind/disabled homesteads and Veteran's Exclusions.
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 may 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 their 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?
The general answer to this question is no. There are a few limited exceptions (listed below) that would allow married couples to claim two homesteads:
- Legal separation (documentation must be provided)
- 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 at least 50 miles apart. Additionally, the properties must be at least 50 miles apart (documentation of employment must be provided)
- Other personal circumstances, not including intent to obtain two homestead classifications