BY PRESIDENT REINERT:
RESOLVED, that Resolution No 01-0601 is hereby further amended to read as follows:
(a) That a special board of review for the city of Duluth is hereby created, and all the powers and duties of the city council under Minnesota Statutes 274.01, subdivision 1, are hereby delegated to said special board of review;
(b) That said board shall be comprised of five members, one of whom shall be an employee of the city, other than an employee of the city assessor’s office, and the remainder of whom shall by training and experience be well versed and familiar with property values in the city of Duluth. Other than the city employee member, one member shall be an appraiser by profession, one member shall be a real estate broker, one member shall be an attorney, and the final member shall be any person familiar with real property valuations in Duluth;
(c) The city employee member of the board shall be designated prior to each meeting of the board by the chief administrative officer of the city, or in his or her absence, the mayor, and shall have attended the equalization course required by Minnesota Statutes Section 274.014 Subd. 2. Of the other members of the board, one member shall initially be appointed for a two year term, another for a three year term, the other for a four year term, and, thereafter, all appointments, except those made to fill an unexpired term and that of the employee member, shall be for four years;
(d) The board shall meet annually on such day as the county auditor shall designate and from time to time thereafter until all duties and responsibilities imposed on said board by Minnesota Statutes 274.01 are discharged in full;
(e) All meetings of the special board of review shall be public, and it shall keep minutes of its proceedings which shall be immediately forwarded to the council, and which shall be a public record. At any meeting, three members shall constitute a quorum. Necessary staff, recording, transcription and mailing service shall be provided the board by the assessor’s office.
STATEMENT OF PURPOSE: The purpose of this resolution is to amend the resolution which created the city’s special board of appeals which handles disputed property value issues related to property taxation.
As authorized by statute, the city originally created a special board of appeals in 1986. In 2001, the make-up of the board was modified to add a city councillor to the board. At the time, the only qualification for being a board member was being familiar with property values in the city.
However, as of 2006, state statute will require that at least one board member will have to have attended an equalization course put on by the state department of revenue within the preceding four years. This will require at least a day of the member’s time and travel to remote locations in the state where the training is being offered. If such a trained person is not available to sit on the board, it cannot legally meet.
This resolution would substitute a city employee position for the position presently filled by a city councillor, not only to relieve council members of an unnecessary burden of office but also allowing for the training of one or more employees in the city, any of whom could be designated to sit on the board, insuring that the requirements of the statute are fulfilled and that a person trained within the four year requirement was available to meet as needed.