Carla Broadland, City Assessor

City Assessor

The Assessment department is responsible for maintenance and distribution of all property ownership, legal description boundaries, and address information in the City of Wahpeton. We also appraise, or estimate the value, of all property in the city as well as administer all property tax exemptions and special assessments.

Here, you will find explanations and definitions about the appraisal & assessment process, answers to some common questions, information on how to understand or appeal your valuation, important dates, and exemption information.

Assessment Process
North Dakota law requires Assessors to value,or appraise, property at true & full value as of February 1st of each year. This can also be referred to as market value. Basically, what that means is the value that most people would likely pay for a given property in its present condition.

The Assessor must notify property owners when their assessed value increases at least 10% and $3,000 or more of the last assessment.

The property taxes we pay are determined by our elected officials (city & county commissioners, school & park board members, etc.) setting their budgets. That is what determines the total amount of property tax to be paid in any given year in the City of Wahpeton.

Once the budgets for each political subdivision are set, the amount needed from property taxes is divided by the total taxable value to determine the mill levy.

Each property's share of the property tax is based on the Assessor's value. Although the work of the Assessor does not determine the total amount of taxes paid, it does affect the uniform distribution of the property tax burden.

Frequently Asked Questions


 What is the Mill Levy?


The mill levy is determined each year by dividing the total amount of dollars needed by each political subdivision (city, county, schools, park and state) from the property tax by the total taxable value, in our case, of the City of Wahpeton.

This, in effect, ends up being the percentage of taxable value that is levied or assessed in property tax annually.

An individual property's annual property tax is determined by multiplying the taxable value by that year's mill levy. (Move the decimal 3 places to the left on the mill levy.)

The mill levy is a composite of several entities' tax levying powers. 

The current mill levy for the City of Wahpeton is:

Taxing District           Mills Levied 2021 [collected 2022]
State of ND                                            1.00
Richland County                                  97.44
Wahpeton School District                  131.59
Wahpeton Park Dist.                            37.28
City of Wahpeton                                 93.02

TOTAL                                               360.33

 How do I appeal my value?

Any time your opinion of the value on your property differs from ours, you may appeal your assessment. There are several options available for you to do that.

Once a year the City, County, & State Boards of Equalization meet to hear individual property tax valuation appeals. The City meets the 2nd Tuesday in April, the County meets within the first 10 days in June, and the State meets the 2nd Tuesday in August. You should give prior notice beforehand that you intend to appear. You, then may appear before these boards and present whatever evidence you have to support the value you feel should be placed on the property.

The annual Board of Equalization meetings are not your only opportunity to appeal a value for tax purposes. At any time, you may file what is called an abatement which will automatically set up meetings before the city and county commissions to hear your appeal. Through the abatement process, you can actually appeal an assessment up to 2 years old. An abatement must be filed by November 1st of the year following the year the tax would become delinquent. For instance, the 2016 property tax would become delinquent in 2017, so you would have until November 1, 2018 to file for the 2016 assessment.

The most simple method of appealing your assessment is to call our office and ask us to review your appraisal. In most cases, we will send an appraiser to the property to perform a new appraisal and review it against our current value. If a change is justified, we will make the correction.

If you have any questions about your value or appealing your assessment, please call our office at (701) 642-8449 and ask to speak to the assessor.

 What is a Comparable Sale?

A comparable sale is a property that is similar to the subject property in most respects, is located in a similar neighborhood, and has sold recently in an arms length transaction.

The selection of comparable sales, in most residential appraisals, is probably the most important factor in establishing value. It, quite simply, is what other properties like the subject are actually selling for.

It is the appraisers responsibility to adequately research the local market and determine which comparable sales best represent the value determining characteristics of the property being appraised.

 What is an Arms Length Transaction?

An arms length transaction is one where both the seller and purchaser act independently of each other and have no relationship to each other.

It would be a transaction which is freely arrived at in the open market and unaffected by abnormal pressure or by the absence of normal competitive negotiation.

Sales that could possibly not qualify as arms length transactions would be sales between family members or business partners, foreclosure sales, or an expansion sale where an adjoining property is purchased based solely on location regardless of price.

 What is a Legal Description?

A legal description is simply a statement that contains a designation by which a piece of land is identified.

These statements, or descriptions, may be in several different formats. Some may refer to systems using benchmark locations that reference points by latitude and longitude, some may describe a parcel of land by reference to courses (or bearings) and distances to established landmarks, and some may use several forms of mapping systems.

For most of Wahpeton, neighborhoods have been platted, or mapped, into individual blocks and lots. The legal descriptions, therefore, refer to the ownership boundaries as they relate to the established lines defining the breakdown of each lot and block.

 What is a parcel?

A piece of land, regardless of size, under one ownership, is generally described as a parcel.

In maintaining land ownership records, the Assessor defines the boundaries of land according to ownership and assigns a unique identifying number to each parcel. This is referred to as the parcel number, parcel identifier, or parcel identification number (PIN).

This numbering becomes the universal tie for other agencies needing access to information relating to properties like taxes, special assessments, zoning, realtor listing information, water utility ties, mortgages, liens, etc.

With a call to our office (701-642-8449), you can obtain your parcel number or legal description if needed for any of these purposes.

 What is an appraisal?

In the simplest terms, an appraisal is an opinion of value.

When that opinion is formed by a trained and qualified appraiser, it is based on a systematic process of defining and planning a solution to the appraisal problem, gathering and analyzing all necessary information, applying the approaches to value, and reconciling all of that analysis and data into that opinion of value. This opinion can be stated in the form of a single value or a value range.

In arriving at a value opinion, an appraiser will consider several methods of appraisal application that approach the concept of property value from different perspectives.

These are referred to as the "approaches to value" and are the cost approach, market approach, and income approach.

 What is the cost approach?

The cost approach to value combines an estimate of land value with an estimate of depreciated reproduction or replacement cost of the improvements.

The principle of substitution is the basis of the cost approach. The theory of this principle is that no rational person will pay more for a property than the amount for which they can obtain, by purchase of a site and construction of a building, a property of similar desirability and utility.

 What is the market approach?

The market or direct sales comparison approach to appraising a property involves a process of comparing market data such as property sale prices, asking prices, and offers of prospective buyers or tenants willing to purchase or lease.

Usually, a comparison grid is used to make adjustments to comparable sales for differences from the subject property for things like location, building size, lot size, condition, construction quality, number or baths, fireplaces, garage stalls, etc.

In the market approach, the appraiser attempts to measure and reflect the reactions that typical potential purchasers would have to the property being appraised.

 What is the Income approach?

The income approach to value is based on an estimate of net income derived from the operation of an income producing property and selecting a capitalization rate from market indications of similar properties to convert that income to an estimate of present worth for the property.

The principle of anticipation is the basis of the income approach and affirms that value is created by the expectation of financial benefits to be derived from the possession, operation, and/or capital gain from selling a property.

 What is taxable value?

Taxable value refers to a percentage of the Assessor's appraisal, according to a state prescribed formula, after any exemptions are removed.

An assessment ratio of 50% is multiplied by the Assessor's appraisal to get assessed value.

Then, the assessed value is multiplied by 9% for residential and 10% for all other property classes to get taxable value.

Therefore, the taxable value of residential property is 4.5% of the Assessor's estimate of value and 5% of the Assessor's value for commercial and agricultural property.

To calculate annual taxes for a property, the taxable value is multiplied by the mill levy.

 What is the Homestead Credit (Elderly or Disabled)


The homestead credit exemption is available for senior citizens or disabled homeowners on a limited income. Following are the requirements:

1. You must be at least 65 years old (unless you are permanently & totally disabled).

2. You must own & live in the home for which the credit is claimed. Ownership must be as of February 1st of the year in which you claim the exemption.

3. Your total household income (from all sources) may not be more than $42,000 after deducting medical expenses.

4. Your assets may not exceed $500,000, including the market value of your homestead and the value of any assets gifted or otherwise divested within the last three years.

The amount of exemption is dependent on the amount of your annual income. Application is required each year and is done through our office. If you feel you may be eligible or have any questions, please call our office at 701-642-8449.

 What is the Wheelchair and Disabled Veteran Exemption?

If you are permanently confined to a wheelchair, you are eligible for an exemption of up to $100,000 of the building portion of your valuation for property taxes.

The unremarried spouse will continue to receive this exemption if the applicant is deceased.

In the case of a person permanently confined to a wheelchair claiming this exemption for the first time, an affidavit must be provided showing the facts and certification from a physician describing the circumstance must also be supplied.

A veteran who has been awarded specially adapted housing from the Veteran's Administration is also eligible for this exemption.

Also, a veteran with a service-connected disability of at least 50% is eligible for an exemption equal to the percentage of the disabled veteran's disability, applied against the first $120,000 of true and full valuation of fixtures, buildings, and improvements owned and occupied as a homestead.

If you feel you may qualify, or have any questions about this exemption, please call our office at 701-642-8449.

 What is the Residential New Construction Exemption?

Up to $150,000.00 of true and full value of all new single family and condominium and townhouse residential property, exclusive of the land on which it is situated, is exempt from taxation for the first two years after the tax year in which construction is completed and the residence is owned and occupied for the first time;

New single family residential property, exclusive of land on which it is situated, is exempt from assessment for the taxable year in which construction began and the next two taxable years, if the property remains owned by the builder and remains unoccupied. 

Resolution 3405 took effect November 16, 2009.

Application for this exemption is made in our office. If you have any questions, please give us a call at 701-642-8449.