As early as next week, we will be debating a property tax proposal on the House floor. With most homeowners being squeezed by skyrocketing property taxes, I thought it would be a good idea to discuss the proposal as well as remind folks of the property tax refund options currently available.
Since 2002, Minnesota property taxes have increased over $2.7 billion dollars, an 81%increase for Minnesota homeowners. These increases have hit lower and middle-class homeowners the hardest, making our tax system more regressive.
The current House property tax proposal aims to base property taxes on the "ability to pay," targeting relief to homeowners that need it most – seniors, families, and farmers.
The plan would cut homeowner's property taxes by an expected 5.7% in 2009 by combining the state's existing property tax refund program into a more progressive system. It creates a Homestead Credit State Refund that provides permanent relief to any homeowners whose property taxes exceed 2% of their income, especially aiding those on fixed incomes. 95% of Minnesotans would be eligible for the credit.
This legislation will move through Ways and Means yet this week and then to the floor. It will be the subject of a thorough debate. Many in our district are struggling with property tax increases. Efforts to address this last session were thwarted. I am hopeful that this legislation will become law.
It is important to know that there are current options for you. You may already qualify for existing property tax refund:
Targeted Property Tax Refund - if you are a homeowner and the net property tax on your homestead increased by more than 12% and at least $100 from 2007 to 2008.
Homeowner and Property Tax Refund - if you have a household income of up to $93,480 or are a renter and have an income up to $50,430.
Senior Citizens Property Tax Deferral Program – Available for seniors to defer portions of homestead property taxes.
To apply for a property tax refund, you must complete the M1PR form. It can be found online here: www.taxes.state.mn.us/taxes/forms/m1prfillin_07.pdf
If you have additional questions:
Department of Revenue – (651) 296-3781, or firstname.lastname@example.org
Check status of existing refund: (651) 296-4444 or www.taxes.state.mn.us/taxes/prop_refund/index.html
Posted on Wednesday, April 30, 2008 by Erin Murphy,