Nine-Step Checklist for Seeking a Property Tax Exemption

  1. Contact your county’s Office of the Assessor and Request an Application for Property Tax Exemption. In Minneapolis, St. Paul, and Duluth it may be the City Assessor.
  2. Assemble the materials and supporting documents that you may need in preparing the application:
    • Articles of Incorporation
    • Federal IRS 501(c)3 determination letter
    • Your organization’s most recent Form 990
    • Financial statements
    • Annual fundraising reports (where applicable)
    • Payment policies for services (where applicable)
    • Scholarship announcements (where applicable)
    • Annual Report or program reports that describe free and reduced cost services
  3. Use the chart on page 4 to assess whether your nonprofit fulfills the requirements for property tax exemption.
  4. If you don’t meet all requirements, determine whether or not you can provide reasonable justification for not being able to satisfy all requirements.
  5. Prepare the form, including the appendix of required and relevant documents.
  6. Submit the form to the County Assessor!
  7. Review the County Assessor’s determination letter. If your property is determined to be tax exempt, your work on this process is complete!
  8. If you do not agree with the assessor, take the following steps:
    • Request a written reason for the Assessor’s decision if one has not been provided. Meet with the Assessor to determine if further information can lead to a change in determination.
    • If not satisfied that the determination is accurate, request a review by the Review Board that has been created by the Department of Revenue, the Minnesota Association of Assessing Officers, and the Minnesota Council of Nonprofits to review and provide advisory opinions when there are concerns about a nonprofit property tax exemption determination. The request for review should be made to the Property Tax Division Information and Education Section at the Minnesota Department of Revenue and you should contact that Minnesota Council of Nonprofits to indicate that you have requested review.
  9. In the event that you are still not satisfied that your nonprofit has been properly reviewed for the purpose of property tax exemption, your next recourse would be to file a complaint with the Tax Court before April 30th of the payable year.