Minn. House GOP To Push Property Tax Relief

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Minnesota House Republicans said Monday they’d push for property tax relief for home and business owners in the next legislative session, amid continuing fallout from the elimination of a popular property tax credit earlier this year.

Rep. Greg Davids, R-Preston, said at a Capitol news conference that he’d push to dedicate about $80 million to lowering property taxes. Davids said that comes in response to frequent complaints he heard in recent months about the loss of the homestead market value credit, which benefited about 95 percent of the state’s homeowners — most to the tune of at least several hundred dollars a year.

Gov. Mark Dayton and Republican lawmakers eliminated the credit as part of their agreement to close a $5 billion budget shortfall. The move to save the state about $600 million was little noticed at the time but erupted afterward into a dispute between the Democratic governor and Republicans over who had suggested it. Dayton has said he went along with the proposal only to end a state government shutdown but didn’t agree with the idea.

Davids, the chairman of the House Taxes Committee, said Monday that he didn’t foresee bringing back the credit, particularly with another budget shortfall on the horizon he expects will exceed $500 million. But Davids said carving out some state money to send back to commercial and residential property taxpayers would benefit an ailing state economy that can be blamed in large measure for the perpetual shortfalls.

“I happen to believe that what gets us out of our economic woes is private sector job growth,” Davids said. He said Republicans would set aside the needed $80 million with cuts to other state programs.

Bloomington state Rep. Ann Lenczewski, the senior Democrat on the Taxes Committee, said Davids’ proposal would do little to undo the sting of losing the homestead credit for most property owners.

“Frankly, it looks to me like they want to put themselves behind the idea of property tax relief to distract from taking away the homestead credit,” said Lenczewski, who plans to introduce legislation next session to restore the credit. “But it sounds like a pretty pale replacement for what we lost.”

Many local government officials also bemoaned the loss of the credit. Alan Oberloh, the mayor of Worthington and president of the Coalition of Greater Minnesota Cities, said the group appreciated Davids’ efforts but that it would be cold comfort. “The Legislature cut over $600 million in property tax relief in the summer and today offered to fix it with $80 million,” Oberloh said.

Davids’ proposal seeks to cut the statewide property tax burden by 18 percent for commercial and industrial property owners in greater Minnesota, and by 4 percent in the Twin Cities area.

For homeowners, it would target relief to those who see their local property taxes rise by 12 percent or more in 2012. Those homeowners would see an increase in the percentage of property taxes that the state refunds from the current 60 percent to 90 percent, and would increase the maximum refund available to already eligible homeowners by 20 percent.

Davids’ proposal sets the table for what’s certain to be another contentious debate between Dayton and lawmakers over tax reform and spending cuts when the Legislature reconvenes in St. Paul in late January. Dayton has called many times for income-tax increases on upper-income Minnesotans to address perpetual state budget shortfalls, but Davids again Monday said that idea would garner no Republican support at all.

Davids said it was too early to say what spending Republicans would seek to cut to pay for property tax relief, but said “everything is on the table” — except Dayton’s desire for income tax increases.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

  • Swamp Fox

    Here we go again! Another shortfall is looming and the GOP wants to cut real estate taxes at the expense of other state programs. Is this a way to balance a state’s budgetary woes? It’s time for the GOP to wake up and get this state back on the economic tracks of recovery. Sooner or later this state will default because of the GOP’s stupid inane malarkey they are espousing.

    It’s time to lead, follow, or get the H–l out of the way. Otherwise, the GOP/ T-Baggers will lead us down the primrose path to gloom-&-doom.

    • Charge It

      Don’t you just love the Democrat strategy. Spend beyond your means to justify future tax increases. What could possibly go wrong?

  • G Dog

    Maybe the GOP realizes how they have destroyed a once bountiful state for all and are ready to make amends by taking care of the majority and afflicting the comfortable.

    Ha Ha, oh man, I just crack myself up…….

  • mark

    Rob Peter to pay Paul?

    • dan

      If Peter is Govt waste and Paul is the american tax payer, I’m all for it!

  • Priority number one

    First priority ought to be to get rid of that shameless beggar Zygi and his criminal band of millionaires.

    • Swamp Fox

      Wrong article and thread Chumski! Getting rid of Zygi will only make matter$’s worse. Think about it!

      • Otay alan

        Think. Think. Think. Thunk.

        Okay, I thunked all about it. Zygi needs to go. My only hope is that some other locale is dumber than we are and will take him. <— wasn't there a book written about that – Great Expectations of The Tailgate Class?


  • Chuck

    so, how is cutting programs on the state level gpoing to reduce real estate taxes. If the state lowers payments to the locals, they have to raise taxes to provide esential services (fire, police, roads, education) etc. their only recourse is to RAISE REAL ESTATE TAXES. Here we go again!!!

    • Swamp Fox

      Right On! About time someone else sees the light. The GOP/T-Bags are shoveling it to us again. When are we going to learn that a little sacrifice now, in budget roasting, means gravy in the end. Seems like the GOP never read ECON101 in school. [If the GOP went to school!]

  • just sayin

    After years of tax increases from the libs…

    Thank you GOP!!

    Hey, don’t be jealous renters, someday you will own a house maybe.

    • G Dog

      Don’t forget the hundreds of millions in tax cuts for Big business and rich Republican donors!

    • Right On!!!

      As one of the 1%, I can’t tell you how happy it makes me to read yet another inane comment from another uninformed voter about how the Dems/Libs are sticking it to the taxpayers.

      If you only knew how bad me and my buddies are putting it over you TeaBaggers.

      Keep up the good work!! More tax cuts for me; fewer services for thee!!

      • lmao

        HAHA Pleeeeeeeeease… you have got to be kidding me! LOL

        As if I HAVE NO CLUE LOL!!!!!!!!!!

        You go live in your little world in north minneapolis in your slum. loser.

      • lmao

        Oooff! I’ve had a chance to sober up some, and realize that my previous comment was really stupid and hugely ignorant.


  • max

    So where do they propose to make up for the shortfall in education funding that will result? How long before the GOP objective of turning Minnesota into a “Cold Mississippi” is realized?

  • Mike

    Wasn’t it the Republican legislature in July who granted property tax increases from a tax shift — approved in the state budget deal ?
    Republicans, you can’t cut taxes when YOU ALLOWED this deliberate increase!
    Same phoney tax cut under Pawlenty that resulted in higher fees……………Republicans are pure BS………….

    • DFLSUX

      Liberals are the taxers. How do you not see this? Year after year tax and spend tax and spend. God how blind are you losers?

  • I'm Just Sayin'

    Wow, earlier post not allowed. Apparently pointing out that the deficit came from the last legislature is not popular. Democrats over rode Governor pawlenty veto and instead of negotiating in good faith, they forced their budget through, spending $5 billion more than we as a state had coming in.

  • Murph

    Republicans will of course only lower taxes on the high end houses .CLAIMING THAT IT WILL GIVE THE RICH incentive to hire American gardeners and chauffers,etc.Instead of those pesky foriegners that work for them now! I haven’t hired any illegal aliens,have you? Of course not,so who is to blame.You and me of course ,not the GOP and it’s civilian bosses! Yes the GOP is the supreme leaders that we always wanted but felt they hated us.Now that they want to be friends,of course we’ll kneel at their feet and kiss their wingtips! It took a lot of watching Faux news and beck and company for me to finally see that the GOP is for me! I may never be one of them ,but I can vote for them and lick their toes!

  • Makes me sick

    I like cutting taxes. Income – we down down down. Now lets do the property.
    Pretty soon we will have enough cash coming in to only fund the politicians salaries.
    Ooooooops – time to start raising taxes again. lol
    Seriously – even I will admit as a Republican this tax game needs to end or you can kiss Minnesota goodby as a state worth living in. Hell – things need to at least hold status quo – roads falling apart, infra-structure a mess, not much of anything out there in decent shape. Fix things while it’s fixable. Or wait and spend 6x or more to replace.
    Stop the tax one upmanship and man up to getting the issues resolves, fixed and done. You don’t need MORE money but you sure as hell cannot do all with less either.

  • TiredofBeingOverTaxed

    It’s a shame that they didn’t admit to being a part of the property tax increases. Their homestead market exclusion to replace the homestead credit is the underlying reason for the large increase in taxes as it “shifts” the taxes unfailry – at all levels of taxing authorites – to non-homesteaded properties (including homes above $413,800 in value). The STATE LEGISLATURE (ALL of them) caused this first by not reimbursing communities for the credit they promised and second by now reducing a communities or taxing authorities ability to spread a tax. The STATE LEGISLATURE (ALL of them) reduced the tax base along with economical devaluations in property. This was part of the last minute deal. The budget balancing deal. And now they are talking about giving property tax relief to those they themselves helped place the burden on these people and businesses. Preliminary property tax statements will be mailed by your County in the next week or two. Look at the dates for the public hearings for all of your taxing jurisdictions. Go and find out exactly why your taxes could be going up even if your value goes down and the taxing jurisdiction asks for the same tax dollars or less then they asked for last year. Get educated and then let the STATE LEGISLATURE know what an injustice they have caused.

  • Murph

    Despite 4 years or more of falling prices for pre owned homes,YOUR property will be evaluated higher,not the 10 to 20 grand lower of reality.But the virginly white GOP will claim no resposibility and that Obama stole their caculators! I have had it with the Party of NO!.Watch Faux TV and vote suicidal if you must,but understand the violent outcome of your stupid decision as they herd you into the FEMA concentration camps with the rest of us! But the thigh high boots sure look nice on president to be Newt ,don’t they?

  • Citizen

    Your property valuation may go down, but foreclosed properties are also not figured into the valuation calculator the counties use. Also, the reason your tax bill stays the same is that counties still need the same operating revenue, so the levy just gets raised. Those are the basic facts–a homeowner/landowner/small business can’t win in the property tax game. Also, plenty of school districts managed to get a bond issue through in the election a week ago, so now in addition to the raise in levy taxes, we also no longer have the homestead credit. Look at your tax bill and do the math. It appears that many, many properties face hundreds of dollars in tax increase compliments of the Republicans in the legislature with their smoke and mirrors of budget shifts and stiffing the education dollars. That mantra of “no new taxes” meant no new taxes on the rich–the rest of us–not so much!

    • Jennie

      the people voted the levys in, not the government. People choose to raise their own taxes. So I believe you are in a minority here. People are more informed and are sick and tired of your socialist message.

      • Citizen

        Don’t read well do you, Jennie. Yes, people vote in school levys, but the county will simply raise the property tax levy to replace any tax monies lost by falling housing values. So, people (meaning you) are not more informed. And I’m a progressive populist, certainly not a socialist. But, then I doubt you understand the difference there, either.

        • Jennie

          Little full of yourself aren’t you. We understand alot more than you think we do and that is why your ‘progressive populist’ agenda is not so popular.

        • Bobby

          Progressive Populst is Socialism in drag.

    • Swamp Fox

      Finally another voice from the MN hinterlands that makes sense to the inane malarkey emanating from the GOP/T-Bag Legislature. What you’ve stated makes the tax issues plain and simple but scary as well. The GOP ‘smoke-&-mirrors’ approach to ‘no new taxes’ is getting wearing on Minnesotans who bear the paying of the preponderance of taxes.

      Come to think of it, why didn’t the MN GOP listen to former {MN-GOP] Governor Arne Carlson [a former state auditor] who predicted that MN would be on this slippery slope to default &/or shortfalls if budgetary common sense didn’t prevail. Funny, how two terms of T-Pawl was the complete opposite of the Carlson Doctrine to MN economic health. The present GOP/T-Bag legislature has no idea of how to implement this common sense doctrine. The irony is–the Carlson method works and shows a surplus in the end. Even the MN Democrats have to agree, in principle and deeds, to this budgetary balancing. Now that’s ECON101 is real-life working as it should be.

      • Karl

        Come on citizen, commenting on you own post. You’re a legend in your own mind.

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