A recent report indicates property taxes will rise statewide, despite claims to the contrary by Gov. Mark Dayton and fellow Democrats.
The non-partisan House Research Simulation Report shows taxes on existing properties will rise by $13 million under the budget Dayton and the Democrat majorities passed this year. Dayton and fellow Democrats are trumpeting the fact they spent $400 million to reduce property taxes, but the House report indicates they indeed will rise.
Owners of agricultural property have it even worse. They are projected to suffer a 6.5-percent increase in taxes. This is in addition to new taxes on farm equipment repairs, higher energy rates due to new solar power mandates and a warehousing/storage services tax Dayton and Democrats in the Legislature passed this year. Agriculture is a key economic component in parts of the state like ours and it concerns me greatly to see our farmers burdened with such excessive, unnecessary tax increases.
We should note that even if there were a reduction, state government does not directly control property taxes. Local officials make those decisions and it is misleading for state leaders to take credit, as the governor has done.
The state can provide local governments with additional revenue, but there is no guarantee it will be used to buy down property taxes. Our local officials make wise spending decisions with tax dollars and we trust them to continue doing so, but there is nothing set in stone regarding how entities throughout Minnesota appropriate state revenue. Some could use the money to bolster their police department, for example.
I look forward to discussing these and other issues with local citizens as we prepare to start the 2014 legislative session.
The Wright County Fair currently is underway in Howard Lake and I will be attending off and on throughout the event to talk with constituents. I also will be appearing at Rockford River Days events next weekend. It is great to see how these area fairs and festivals bring friends and neighbors together and help shape our communities. I hope to see you there!
All my best,