MnCRE Property Tax Burden in Legislative Crosshairs

January 10, 2017

During NAIOP's January 5th Coffee & CREam speakers’ series event, two top Republican state lawmakers, boldly proclaimed that “real tax relief” was on the way.

“Government isn’t supposed to be a money-making business,” said State Rep. Steve Drazkowski (R-Mazeppa), chairman of the Property Tax and Local Government Finance Division. “Government is becoming rich, and the people are struggling.”

State Sen. Roger Chamberlain (R-Lino Lakes), chairman of the Senate Taxes Committee agreed. “As far as taxes go, everything is on the table. [We will] put together a better 2017 tax bill with meaningful property tax relief.”

Any tax relief talk was obviously excellent news to the 50+ NAIOP Minnesota members who came to enjoy coffee, CREam and donuts the beautiful Northland Center, managed by Cushman & Wakefield NorthMarq, just off of France  Ave and I-494. Such messaging mirrors that which legislative leadership has been uttering since shortly after the November elections. We at NAIOP know there is a long row to hoe when it comes to passing legislation, particularly when it comes to tax relief.

Sen. Chamberlain noted that any tax relief legislation will inevitably run into resistance at the Capitol, as opponents try to characterize it as benefitting the wealthy at the expense of the poor. In truth, tax relief will help everyone, especially those who are struggling economically.

When the burden on business is lifted, business will respond by investing in people and things. Investments lead to more jobs and better pay, something that NAIOP members can all support.  Rep. Drazkowski nailed it when he said, under our state’s tax system, “we’re chasing away good people who could be working for you; we’re exporting our wealth.”

Both Drazkwoski and Chamberlain agreed that to convince Gov. Dayton that a tax relief bill warrants signing, we will all need to “get personal.” This means talking about what you and your company can’t do under the current tax system and what you will do with tax relief. It means engaging with elected officials in a positive way to effect change. That is what NAIOP Minnesota will be doing in the coming weeks and months. If you want to join us by taking part in our Policy Committee or helping to communicate with policymakers, please email NAIOP.