Representative Matters

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Client: County
Represented County in defense of property tax assessment on office and industrial properties.

Starting in 2003, a regional agribusiness cooperative challenged the valuation of a large sugarbeet plant, and several non-industrial buildings, including its corporate headquarters and a research center in Moorhead, Minnesota. The municipal taxing authorities retained Briggs because of the anticipated complexity and scope of the litigation. The taxpayer's petition for taxes payable in 2003 was dismissed because it was served after the statutory deadline.

During the course of the litigation, the taxing authorities determined that they had been undervaluing the plants, and thus they revised the assessment for taxes payable in 2006 and after. The taxpayer argued that the decision to increase the Pay 2006 value was illegal and unconstitutional. The taxpayer did not timely pay the increased taxes, and the municipalities argued that as a result, the Tax Court lost jurisdiction. Ultimately, through mediation, the parties settled all disputed issues at higher valuations.