Despite promises by last session's DFL-led legislature and Governor Dayton that their policies would reduce property taxes, they are actually on the rise – again.
According to the Certified 2015 Property Tax Levies analysis released by the Minnesota Department of Revenue, residents are paying $286 million more in additional local property taxes when compared to 2014, which amounts to a 3.4 percent increase.
The news is actually worse in Greater Minnesota, as it is feeling the impacts of a 4.2 percent property tax increase while the Metro Area saw a 2.1 percent hike.
The failure of the previous legislature to address the property tax problem has caused the stifling of economic growth in rural Minnesota.
As chairman of the Minnesota House Property Tax and Local Government Finance Division, I traveled to 12 communities across this state to participate in listening sessions where residents could share their property tax stories and concerns. More than 500 people made their voices heard, and the top three topics at the sessions centered on local government spending, taxation of agricultural property, and business property taxes.
House Republicans are committed to finding solutions to these problems. Going forward, we will be unveiling legislation that works to lower the impact of school and county construction levies on rural landowners; repeals the statewide property tax on small businesses; and empowers voters to decide whether to limit property taxes increases offered by schools, cities, and counties.
It is clear we need to make changes. If we want the economies in our rural communities to improve, then we need the individual economies of their residents to improve as well. Relief for Greater Minnesota property taxpayers is long overdue, and the Minnesota House majority is committed to lowering your property tax burden.
To learn more about the 2015 Certified Property Tax Levies, visit http://www.revenue.state.mn.us/propertytax/Pages/ptlevies_15c.aspx.