Transparency Initiative

Constantly exploring the relationship between local government, property taxes, spending decisions and the taxpayer.

Citizens League Report: Recommendations to improve public engagement in Minnesota’s local budgeting process

NAIOP Minnesota commissioned the Citizens League to conduct a study in order to gain an impartial look at the local budget-making and Truth in Taxation (TnT) process and to find ways to make it work better. 

Published in January 2017, the report found that following the letter of the TnT law, while a very worthy effort to increase transparency in local government, may have become counterproductive because many taxpayers believe they have little to no input regarding the property taxes they pay at the local level. This is because the proposed levies that are sent to taxpayers are based on budgets that have been adopted well in advance of the state-mandated TnT process.

The report recommends that the TnT requirements be implemented earlier in the budget-making process to better meet the spirit of the legislation and to make input more meaningful – even impactful. 

Download the report here to see the full results and recommendations of the study.