Homeowners to see lower taxes
The 2013 legislative session wasn’t too bad for many Minnesota homeowners. That’s one conclusion of the annual legislative summary by MICA, the Minnesota Inter-County Association. Tuesday, MICA Executive Director Keith Carlson said for the second straight year, most residential property owners in Central Minnesota should pay less in property taxes. Cities should see a 2.1% decrease in market value, which translates into a net tax decrease of about 4.6%. It’s a bit less in townships, at about 1.2%. “Part of that is constraint by local government and the other is shifting valuations, where we have a phenomenal increase in agricultural properties,” said Carlson. “And as a consequence they’ve been picking up the taxes that otherwise would be paid by other properties.” Property taxes on agricultural homestead land is expected to increase 3.8% for 2014, while commercial and industrial properties should see a 3.0 - 3.8 decrease. “That, of course is going to be determined by decisions by county boards, city councils and school boards,” he said. Carlson said the state was facing a $600 million deficit when the legislative session began in January. “That deficit was solved almost exclusively by a large tax increase that ultimately was $2.1 billion. The lion’s share of that ($1.1 billion) came from an individual income tax increase almost exclusively on higher income individuals,” he said. “The next two sources of additional revenues came from corporate ($424 million) and sales tax ($59 million).” Counties will benefit by no longer having to pay general sales tax, beginning Jan. 1, 2014. And county program aid statewide was also increased from $165 million to $205 million. “That’s the first increase we’ve seen in a number of years,” said Carlson. Individual property tax refunds will increase by an average of $232 in the county next year. Steve Novak of MICA said counties were also given the authority to impose a 1/2% sales tax for transportation without a referendum. “So going forward, any county in the state that chooses to go the route of passing a local sales tax for local transportation project purposes has the authority to do that,” he said.