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MAC property tax authority

Published (4/25/2008)
By Courtney Blanchard
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The Metropolitan Airports Commission could lose the ability to levy some property taxes.

Currently MAC can levy property taxes on the seven metropolitan area counties for debt, operations and maintenance, police and fire services, and parking and roadway maintenance. However, it hasn’t used the authority since the 1980s, according to the Department of Revenue.

HF2467, sponsored by Rep. Paul Thissen (DFL-Mpls), would strip the MAC of some levy authority. The MAC could continue issuing revenue bonds and levy for taxes to pay for general obligation bonds issued before May 1, 2007.

Thissen said the Legislature should make some financing decisions that are currently made by the MAC. Even though the MAC hasn’t levied property taxes in a long time, he said there is a possibility that they could in the future, especially given recent developments.

“The kind of final default are the taxpayers of Bloomington, Minneapolis and Hennepin County, and all the counties in the metro area,” he said.

Steve Busch, director of finance for MAC, said the levy is actually repaid to the counties, and was created to be a “safety deposit box.” It’s a good idea for MAC to have that authority, he said “in the event of something that we needed to do to issue those bonds, whatever it be, a merger or a catastrophe.”

The bill was laid over April 17 for possible inclusion in the House Taxes Committee’s omnibus bill.

Sen. Dan Larson (DFL-Bloomington) sponsors the Senate companion, SF2277, which awaits action by the Senate Property Tax Division.

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