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Software snafu leads to incorrect property values in Hubbard County

Hubbard County Government Center.
Contributed
/
John Deacon | courthouses.co
Hubbard County Government Center.

Nearly all 16,000 property parcels in Hubbard County were impacted and more than 2,000 abatements were processed.

PARK RAPIDS — Hubbard County’s new software rollout for property valuations had a bumpy start last year, and some residents say they are still learning about the hiccup months later.

The problem, initially discovered in April 2023, impacted nearly all 16,000 parcels in Hubbard County.

More than 2,000 abatements, or property valuation adjustments, were processed, according to a Jan. 31 email from Hubbard County Administrator Jeff Cadwell.

Last April, the Park Rapids Enterprise reported on the issue, which explained that most instances of errors for taxes payable in 2024 were due to the county assessor’s office’s switch from old to new software, but rising market values compounded the changeover issues.

Most of the valuation errors were negligible, according to Cadwell, but some property owners saw their values increase significantly, like Bonnie Lundorff in Helga Township, who saw her valuation increase by over $25,000.

"Why didn’t they let everybody know? They said, ‘We had it in the [Park Rapids Enterprise].’ We don’t get the Enterprise, [because] we live in Bemidji,” Lundorff said.

Helga Township is within the Bemidji School District, and the Bemidji Pioneer is the official legal newspaper for the Hubbard County township.

Cadwell said property owners had an opportunity last spring to appeal their valuation to the Hubbard County Board of Equalization. Cadwell also noted that 600 property owners were notified who had more than a 25% increase due to the error.

Officials say the errors haven’t resulted in any cases of residents underpaying their taxes, and adjustments to value for 2024 have been made, with next year’s taxes to be calculated from the corrected adjustment.

Hubbard County residents who still have questions about their property valuations can contact the Assessor’s Office at 218-732-3452.

Larissa Donovan has been in the Bemidji area's local news scene since 2016, joining the KAXE newsroom in 2023 after several years as the News Director for the stations of Paul Bunyan Broadcasting.