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Market values are on the rise in Farmington

After years of tumbling, the market value on most properties in Farmington seems to be turning around.

Early projections from the Dakota County assessor's office show that Farmington's overall taxable market value for the 2014 reflects an approximate 4.5 percent increase over the taxable market value of 2013.

The community's taxable market value has fallen steadily over the past five years. Early projections for the upcoming year, however, show a slight increase. But that increase could be a sign of things to come.

The estimated taxable market value is set during a current year, but isn't payable until the next year, Dakota County assessor Bill Peterson explained.

The taxable market value estimates come out early in the year, which allows city officials to have a point of reference while they set their annual budgets and tax levies. The numbers the Farmington City Council is working off of now were set Feb. 27, but may change slightly before final property taxes are assessed later this year. The county's estimates are fluid for now because several pieces of data do not come in until later in the year, Peterson said.

The numbers

A decade ago, Farmington was experiencing the biggest housing boom of its history, and the city's taxable market value increased from just short of $860 million for the year payable 2003, to a peak of more than $1.8 billion in the year payable 2009.

Then homeowners started to see the market value of their properties fall. Farmington's overall taxable market value fell by more than $537 million from 2009 to 2013.

But the economy has started to pick up again, and that's having an effect on the market. The city's taxable market value for 2014 is up by more than $57 million, and the tax capacity rate has increased by $563,000.

Home values are on the rise, too. For taxes payable in 2013, Farmington's median valued home was around $167,000, but that's up to $171,000 for 2014.

Farmington School District 192 shows slightly different numbers for the median market value, because the school district includespart of Lakeville and three townships. A median value home for ISD 192's purposes is estimated at $183,300 for 2014, up from $178,800 this year.

Ultimately, the numbers could mean some relief for taxpayers, Peterson said.

"The overall market value went up more than the average residential property, so that in and of itself should shift some of the burden from residential to other types of properties," Peterson said. "It's hopefully a sign that the economy is starting to turn around."

Michelle Leonard

Michelle Leonard joined the Woodbury Bulletin staff in November, 2014, after 14 years covering news for the Bulletin's sister publication, the Farmington Rosemount Independent Town Pages.  Michelle earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Mass Communications: News-Editorial from Mankato State University in 1991. She is an active member of the American Legion Auxiliary Clifford Larson Unit 189 of Farmington, and served as the 2014-15 Third District President to the American Legion Auxiliary Department of Minnesota. Michelle is also the volunteer coordinator for the Minnesota Newspaper Museum which is open annually during the Minnesota State Fair. She has earned Minnesota Newspaper Association awards in Investigative Reporting, Local News Coverage, Feature Photography and Column Writing. 

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