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Legislature > House of Representatives > House Research > Taxes > Major State Aids & Taxes

Major State Aids & Taxes: Property Tax Refund - Renters

Program Description

The property tax refund for renters, also called the "renters' credit, " is a program in which the state partially reimburses renters for part of their qualifying property taxes if the taxes exceed a perentage of household income. Generally, the higher the property tax and the lower the income, the higher the refund. The legislature establishes the income and property tax thresholds, reimbursement rates, and maximum refund amounts for the program and sets the amount of rent deemed to represent property taxes. Each renter must apply directly to the state for a refund.


Aid Amount and Reporting

2012 Filed 2013 Property Tax Refund for Renters: $180.5 million

The total property tax refunds for the 2012 returns filed in 2013 for renters is $180,483,830. These returns are based on 2012 income and rent paid in 2012. The table below summarizes statewide data on the number of returns, amounts, and average dollar per return for the various types of filers.

Number of Returns
(A)
Total Amount
(B)
Net Amount per Return
(C=B/A)
Renters
Senior/Disabled 88,065 $56,138,229 $637
Under 65 Years 215,951 $124,345,601 $576
Total Renters 304,016 $180,483,830 $594

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Recent Law Changes

The 2010 Legislature reduced the percent of rent considered to represent property taxes from 19 percent to 15 percent, for refunds based on rent paid in 2009 only. This put into law the change made in Governor Tim Pawlenty's 2009 unallotment, which reduced the percentage from 19 to 15 for refunds based on rent paid in 2009. A 2010 decision of the Minnesota Supreme Court invalidated other portions of the unallotment and suggested that the entire unallotment was likely invalid. For refunds based on rent paid in 2010, the percentage reverted to 19 percent.

The 2011 Legislature reduced the percentage of rent considered property taxes from 19 percent to 17 percent, effective beginning with refunds based on rent paid in 2011.

The 2013 Legislature expanded both the homeowner and renter property tax refunds. The legislature decreased the threshold percentage for renters to be no higher than those for homeowners and increased the maximum refund for renters to $2,000.

Property tax refund data are from the Department of Revenue. The department is unable to identify the county from which a claim is filed for about 3 percent for 2012 claims. This report apportions these claims to counties based on each county's share of total claims.

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Per Capita Maps

Map of property tax refund for renters per capita by countyMap of property tax refund for renters per capita by economic development region

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The Past Five Years of Property Tax Refund for Renters

The table below shows the distribution of the property tax refund in thousands of dollars for the past five years for the state and economic development regions. The graph shows total dollars of the property tax refund for that same time period in nominal (actual) and constant (inflation-adjusted) dollars. The property tax refund historical data excludes any targeting data.

Property Tax Refund: 2008 (filed 2009) to 2012 (filed 2013)
Nominal dollars, in thousands
2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 5-Yr. Chg. Aid
State $180,047 $137,551 $195,387 $177,267 $180,484 0%

Northern Regions
Northwest (1)
Headwaters (2)
Arrowhead (3)
West Central (4)
Five (5)
East Central (7E)
1,472
1,653
9,401
5,235
3,709
3,573
1,100
1,257
7,011
3,939
2,866
2,706
1,541
1,727
9,546
5,586
4,073
3,773
1,337
1,588
8,521
4,816
3,674
3,456
1,288
1,603
8,504
4,965
3,619
3,503
-12
-3
-10
-5
-2
-2

Southern Regions
Six East (6E)
Upper MN Valley (6W)
Central MN (7W)
Southwest (8)
Nine (9)
Southeastern MN (10)
3,027
817
10,875
2,264
5,834
12,897
2,288
578
8,161
1,668
4,244
9,931
3,373
832
11,897
2,359
6,046
13,961
2,899
736
10,636
2,116
5,293
12,506
3,001
723
10,865
2,082
5,386
12,661
-1
-12
0
-8
-8
-2
Total Nonmetro $60,757 $45,749 $64,713 $57,579 $58,200 -4%

Metro Region
Hennepin County
Ramsey County
Remaining Metro
57,241
27,562
34,486
44,111
21,095
26,596
62,056
30,074
38,543
57,043
27,652
34,993
57,860
28,161
36,263
1
2
5
Total Metro $119,289 $91,802 $130,673 $119,688 $122,284 3%

Statewide Property Tax Refund

Line graph of statewide property tax refund for renters for five years

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March 2017

House Research Department  ♦  600 State Office Building, Saint Paul, MN  55155  ♦  House.Research@house.mn  ♦  651-296-6753