Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Minnesota Tax Payer Alert

The Start Tribune reported this morning on a piece of legislation working it's way through the Minnesota Senate that would remove property tax caps.

Minnesota Senate File 1054, Sponsored by Senator Thomas Bakk, allows cities & counties to raise property tax levies without any input from the state or taxpayers.  It eliminates the requirement for notices to taxpayers to be published in newspapers.  It discontinues the annual truth in taxation meetings where budgets are traditionally shared and the public has an opportunity to share their thoughts.

Every November, you get a statement from your county and your city.  It's a sheet that gives you a comparision between what you paid last year and what you will pay this year in property taxes.  On the right side, it gives you a percentage of change.   The form also lists dates & locations of meetings for the individual portion of the increases (e.g. park board, city tax, school district, solid waste management fees, etc.) where you can go to ask questions or voice your concerns. There is an attachment that explains limit & how money is to be used. This is what we are talking about.

This lovely piece of silent taxation was sent to the Senate Tax Committee, conveniently Chaired by Senator Bakk.  This morning it passed the Tax Committee with a recommendation and it's now headed to the Committee on Rules & Administration.

What galls me is they now want to take more of our money and not have to bother with the pesky task of even letting us know before they take it or how they plan to spend it. Seriously? This one has me ticked off. 

I have let the Senate Tax Committee, Committee on Rules & Administration, my Senators, my Mayor and our Governor know my thoughts via email on this :-) 

Email me at stuccohouse @ aol.com if you wish to share your thoughts with the MN Senate and need help finding their names & email addresses.

Here's a copy of the actual Bill.

6 comments:

Karen Anne said...

That's awful. Runaway property taxes are such a burden.

I lived in CA before Prop. 13, and people were losing their homes because the inflated housing values led to enormous property taxes for long time residents.

Now I live in RI, which caps the overall increase per town, but has no cap on individual properties, so again people are being crunched.

In my view any legislator who doesn't protect his or her constituents from the insanity of varying house values leading to varying property taxes when their incomes are often fixed, deserves to be booted from office immediately.

NV said...

Taxation without representation ... hmm. Seems like that touched off a Tea Party or something a couple centuries ago...

Christopher Busta-Peck said...

I'm all about high taxes (or, rather, all those great things that high taxes can buy, like great libraries and schools) - and I should be - I live in the city with the highest effective property tax rate in the state of Ohio. But dangit, let me and my neighbors have some say in the matter!

StuccoHouse said...

Interesting. The only response I received to my emails was from Senate Minority Leader Dave Senjem. If you read the Star Tribune article, he is the one that voiced concerns that trusting counties & cities to send out notices on "their honor" (because the bill removes the mandate)...most likely wouldn't happen for long.

Parts of Minneapolis have huge numbers of home foreclosure putting that part of the city in a downward spiral. Let's raise taxes. Genius.

Christopher - You would love Mpls. then..our taxes are very high...and we have a brand new multi-mullion dollar public library downtown (the old - historic - one was destroyed). And a very new theater (Guthrie) - again the historic, architecturally significant theater was torn down. Taxpayers here are still busy paying for those ;-)

Lindie said...

Time for another tea party!

Nadja and Sean said...

I've made calls too- thanks for the heads up... I'm trying to follow closely. My taxes went UP $400 this year ALONE, even without this bill (while my value has gone down, down, down...)

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