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

Major State Aids & Taxes: Property Tax Refund - Homeowners

Program Description

The property tax refund for homeowners, also called the "circuit breaker," is a program in which the state partially reimburses homeowners for part of their property taxes if the taxes exceed a percentage 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. Each qualifying homeowner must apply directly to the state for a refund.


Aid Amount and Reporting

2012 Filed 2013 Property Tax Refund: $270.4 million

The total property tax refunds for the 2012 returns filed in 2013 for homeowners is $270,419,208. These returns are based on 2012 income and property taxes payable in 2013. 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)
Homeowners:*
Senior/Disabled 145,673 $118,142,221 $811
Under 65 Years 193,524 $152,276,987 $787
Total Homeowners 339,197 $270,419,208 $797
* Includes claimants who are part-year homeowners for that year's claim.

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Recent Law Changes

The 2011 Legislature expanded the homeowner program by increasing the maximum refund to $2,460 for homeowners with household incomes less than $37,280, and decreasing the copayment percentage for all claimants with incomes from $10,880 to $93,240.

The 2013 Legislature renamed the program to the homestead credit refund and further expanded the program by decreasing the threshold percentages to 2 percent for incomes from $19,530 to $65,049, and to 2.5 percent for higher incomes. In addition, the department is required to notify homeowners if available data suggests they might be eligible for a refund of at least $1,000. The notification program is a onetime effort scheduled for 2014 and limited to homeowners not already claiming the refund.

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 1 percent of 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 homeowners per capita by county Map of property tax refund for homeowners per capita by economic development region

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The Past Five Years of Property Tax Refund for Homeowners

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 for homeowners 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 $269,315 $273,991 $272,309 $293,484 $270,419 0%

Northern Regions
Northwest (1)
Headwaters (2)
Arrowhead (3)
West Central (4)
Five (5)
East Central (7E)
1,697
1,925
8,264
5,654
5,847
9,238
1,555
1,842
8,738
5,545
5,696
8,980
1,498
1,792
8,487
5,883
5,330
8,515
1,634
1,926
10,204
6,842
5,784
9,400
1,553
1,862
10,119
6,675
5,560
8,757
-8
-3
22
18
-5
-5

Southern Regions
Six East (6E)
Upper MN Valley (6W)
Central MN (7W)
Southwest (8)
Nine (9)
Southeastern MN (10)
4,851
745
18,944
2,278
6,501
16,614
5,116
741
18,913
2,075
6,497
16,955
4,706
695
18,757
2,061
6,177
16,657
5,009
745
20,748
2,042
6,693
18,962
4,326
639
18,614
1,810
6,137
17,425
-11
-14
-2
-21
-6
5
Total Nonmetro $82,559 $82,653 $80,557 $89,989 $83,479 1%

Metro Region
Hennepin County
Ramsey County
Remaining Metro
90,539
29,915
66,303
93,902
28,674
68,763
94,936
31,259
65,556
99,522
34,666
69,307
90,473
32,313
64,154
0
8
-3
Total Metro $186,756 $191,339 $191,751 $203,495 $186,941 0%

Statewide Property Tax Refund for Homeowners

Line graph of statewide property tax refund for homeowners 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