Martin County Commissioners heard from County Assessor Mike Sheplee on Tuesday concerning an update to the county’s homestead application policy. As part of the new policy, a letter will be sent out to about 4,100 county residential taxpayers who do not currently have a homestead application on file, due to a misunderstanding of how long to keep track of homestead applications. Those who do not return the form will see an effect on their 2020 property taxes.

“In 2015, the Minnesota Historical Society put out a new general retention schedule, and on that schedule was the requirement that homestead applications be retained in our office for the entire length of the homestead, plus 10 years” according to Sheplee. “Unfortunately, before that time we believed it to be 10 years only. So any homestead that had been in existence longer than 10 years at that time had been destroyed.” I was required to do an audit of our homestead administration and that required locating all the homestead applications that should be in existence. There are 4,100 that we do not have”.

In addition to missing those applications, there have been some changes to what is required on those applications over time. So applications require the Social Security numbers of all owners who occupy the property and the spouse of each owner, regardless of whether that spouse lives at the requested homestead location or not.“I really don’t want to put the public through this, but it’s something we’re required to have on hand and I can’t think of another way to get it done.”

The board accepted the resignation of a part-time transport officer “Duffy “Post and corrections officer Tashina Hanson in the Sheriff’s Office. The board also approved a motion to begin recruitment to fill the vacancies.

Commissioners approved a motion to appoint the County Board representative to the Library Board as a voting member. As that will give the Library Board six members, the motion also increases that board to seven members. The seventh board member will be a citizen at-large within the county.

The board approved receiving and filing budget allocation requests from Visit Fairmont and the

Martin County Humane Society at Tuesday’s meeting.

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