Issues | Property Taxes

For most taxpayers, Minnesota’s property tax system simply defies understanding.

Do rising property taxes irate you? That isn’t all bad. Irritating taxes are difficult to ignore. When taxes have our attention, chances are higher that we will follow their trail to check up on how those tax dollars ($8.03 billion in property taxes statewide in 2011 and $8.60 billion in 2012) are being spent.

Our state’s property tax system ranks among the most complicated in the nation: fifty-five separate classes—multiple exemptions, exclusions and special cases—and formulas for determining a specific property’s bill so complex that few can understand it. Yet all this convolution simply shifts burden around to different types of property owners and also distracts attention away from local government spending which drives levies and ultimately property taxpayers’ bills.

We are no longer flush, and none of us—homeowners and business owners alike—can afford to continue to be ignorant about the cost structures which underlie the cost of public services. Requiring expenditure type reporting on every aspect of local government spending is one of the most effective way to identify the real cost drivers and their effect on property taxes.

Moving from what local government services cost to understanding why they cost what they do,
along with an explanation of the why behind the trend lines.

Transparency initiative and expenditure type reporting legislation
Comparing actual pay 2013 to projected pay 2014 for all property types, statewide and by region.