A plea for a fair homestead property tax

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January 15, 2013
By: Juris Curiskis
Juris Curiskis

This legislative session, in St. Paul, the DFL leaders are promising to reduce our homestead property tax burden. Can anybody understand their reasoning to do that when our homestead property tax burden, as a whole, is lower than our other major taxes? 

The MN Department of Revenue has prepared, for the benefit of our legislators, a report that documents our MN homestead property tax burden for 20 taxing districts to reflect the different demands people have on their local governments. And since we pay all of our taxes from our incomes, the burden is measured in percent of our incomes that we need to give our local governments for services. But that burden is not public information for individual homesteaders. However, the burden is available from the MN Department of Revenue for any and all of the 20 taxing districts as a whole. For example the Arrow Head region of MN has a 1.5 percent burden while the metro area of Minneapolis has a 3 percent burden to produce the same tax revenue stream for the local government.

The MN Department of Revenue data clearly documents what our fair share is in our local homestead property taxes to produce the same tax revenue. A 1.5 percent to 3 percent property tax burden certainly does not indicate a need for property tax reduction or a need for property tax rebates by the state. 

Unfortunately nobody is paying their fair share in homestead property taxes anyplace in Minnesota, and that is a problem that the politicians can’t seem to understand. Some people pay more than 10 times their fair share. But don’t blame the local government for that. Contact your legislators to implement a fair homestead property tax. The infrastructure is in place at the state to make our homestead property taxes fair and equitable.

Juris Curiskis 
Bryn Mawr