County of Aitkin v. Blandin Paper Co.Annotate this Case
Blandin Paper Company (Blandin) owned 4,680 parcels of timberland located in Aitkin, Itasca, St. Louis, and Koochiching Counties (the Counties). Blandin challenged tax assessments of market value for the timberland properties. Before trial, the Counties filed a motion to exclude evidence Blandin offered regarding the unit-rule method for determining the market value of the property at issue. The tax court denied the motion, determining that the unit-rule method is admissible in property tax proceedings. At trial, the court adopted Blandin’s appraisal values based on the unit-rule method and reduced the assessor's aggregate market value of the properties. The Supreme Court reversed, holding (1) the unit-rule method to determine the fair market value of real property may be admissible in a property tax proceeding; (2) the record in this case does not establish that the appraisal evidence offered by Blandin satisfied the requirements set forth in this opinion for admitting such evidence; and (3) the case must be remanded for both parties to have the opportunity to present evidence in favor of their respective positions.