Bill would raise property taxes

To the editor:

State Sen. Jim Carlson, DFL-Eagan, caused big trouble at the Capitol for middle class Minnesotans last week. He is the main sponsor of yet another bill (S.F. 607) to raise our taxes, and this time it’s property taxes, even higher. During last year’s campaign he bragged to us about he was going to lower property taxes.  This outrageous hypocrisy must be called out for what it is. He said he would take a balanced approach and look out for us in the middle class – that he would reduce property taxes, not raise taxes like this will do.

Under this proposed bill, there is no need for the cities of Eagan or Burnsville to prove benefit to an affected property to justify imposing this new tax to pay for streets that we already pay for in our current property taxes. Any city would be free to draw the taxing district in any shape, allowing them to impose this new tax only on certain individual properties. It allows cities to organize tax rates in almost any way.

This legislation creates a way to bypass requirements in place under the special assessment laws designed to protect property taxpayers, those of us in the middle class working each day to provide for our families and to help make this a place we want to raise our children.

It’s hypocritical for Carlson to talk on one side of his mouth about how he wants to reduce property taxes while he testifies at the Capitol about the need to create a new taxing authority to raise our property taxes out of the other side of his mouth.

Amanda Patterson

  • wageslave

    I haven’t read the bill, but it seems you’re doing your best to spin it.

    What “new tax?”

    Benefit connotes assessment. By law. That’s different than the property tax.

    Which of the two is Carlson trying to change? You obscure that.

    While all property taxpayers pay for a share of the city roads, extra charges — in the form of assessments — accrue to the “benefiting” property owners where roads are built, rebuilt or rehabbed.

    Contrary to your warning to “taxpayers,” your letter suggests that taxpayers overall might BENEFIT from the legislation you cite. If it casts a wider net for assessments, as you suggest, then property taxpayers across the city would pay less. Is that what you mean?

    But I’m still confused. What is this “taxing district” you mention? Sounds like a “city” or “county” or “school district” to me.

    I would like to know more, but sorry I didn’t buy all of your propaganda.

  • wageslave

    Jan, thanks for posting it.

    Sounds to ME like the costs of street replacement across Eagan, surely a growing, systemic concern in the aging suburb, would be politically easier if the entire city were declared a street improvement district — which I presume the bill would allow — and everyone were charged a fee.

    The legislation would do away with special assessments in such districts. Those assessments bite hard when old streets are rebuilt. People often complain, but the projects typically prevail.

    I question whether funding “specialty projects benefitting only one neighborhood” is the driving force here.

    The letter writer is not totally accurate, as you state she is. She asserts a proposed ability to levy a “new tax,” and “only on certain individual properties.”

    No. And let’s save the tax vs. fee argument for another time.

    All my questions are NOT answered by the language of the bill, but it’s time for me to shut up.

    Let’s hear from Sen. Carlson, or any municipal official on whose behalf — I presume — this legislation is offered.

    Senator? Mayor?

    • Jan Dobson

      You’re welcome, wageslave.

      Here’s the thing with regional taxation. Spreading the pain of neighborhood improvements over an entire community has the ring of a whole town hanging together; like adjacent neighborhoods helping each other out to make the town better for everyone. Sounds almost reasonable, doesn’t it? Now, how about this? How about spreading costs of so-called improvements to Minneapolis over all surrounding suburbs? (Oh, yes. It’s been suggested.) Reasonableness begins to fade. Or, how about spreading the costs of so-called improvements to a particular state over all adjacent states? (Oh, yes. It’s been suggested.) Now, imagine the practice on a nation to nation level.

      In reality, regional taxation is another way to redistribute wealth, to “spread the wealth around.”

  • taxpayer28

    When is the population going to wake up and realize that to these politicians way of thinking middle class means government union employees? The rest of us are plebes who need to bow down and kiss their ring, pay homage to their greatness.
    Has anyone reported the latest new business creation finding for 2012? Minnesota has now the proud distinction of being lowest in the nation!
    There should be a law against it. ;D
    Let’s spend, regulate and tax our way to the top.