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Letter: Report finds that property tax levels should decline

To the editor:

As chairman of the Minnesota House Property Tax Division, I was confident that the $650 million tax relief proposal championed and approved by legislative Republicans last session would ultimately result in reducing property taxes across this state.

I have good news to report, as the nonpartisan Minnesota House Research Department notes in a recent analysis that Minnesotans will be paying $121 million less in property taxes thanks to our new tax reform laws. See the report at www.house.leg.state.mn.us/cmte/Home/?comm=90024.

The report finds that people owning every type of property will benefit, especially residential homeowners, farmers and rural Minnesota small businesses. In fact, the biggest winners from this new law are lower-valued commercial/industrial properties — think Main Street stores and local employers — as a nearly $56 million decrease is projected statewide.

In addition, our proposals included a combined $40 million per year increase for Local Government Aid and County Program Aid , which city governments assured us would also allow them to ease property taxes at the local level.

The Property Tax Division is currently monitoring the impact of this tax relief statewide. With significant new state resources dedicated to property tax relief, and unbiased analysis proving Minnesotans will pay less, cities and counties should also be reducing their projected levies.

Legislative Republicans heard the people's complaints and took action by approving property tax relief, and now it's time for cities, counties, and schools to follow suit. While we are pleased to have helped Minnesotans save $121 million in property tax payments, our committee will continue monitoring the upcoming local levy requests. If their numbers continue to rise despite our significant investment into property tax relief, it will be duly noted when local governments ask for more state resources and lawmakers evaluate the future of LGA.

Steve Drazkowski

Mazeppa

Steve Drazkowski represents House District 21B

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