In a recent letter to the editor, Mayor Rybak talked about the big “2 percent off property taxes.”
Those of us homeowners who pay 6%, 10%, and even upwards to 20% of our income towards property taxes are still not impressed. Property taxes are based on unrealized gains. Property taxes, tax, our most valued citizens, our seniors, right out of their homes. Property taxes are the most regressive tax we have in this state.
We can do better. Minnesota can do better. 65% of homeowners in the metro area here are paying more than 3.6% of their gross income towards property taxes. 75% percent of homeowners in SW & SE Hennepin County are paying more than 3.6%! (Google “Voss Report”) That’s a lot of moola when you are living on a fixed income.
We can have what is being called “Fair Share Property Tax.” In a nutshell, homestead property owners would be taxed a variable percent (3.6% in the Metro, for example) of their income. Everything would stay the same for the most part. The Assessors would still assess. We would still pay our property taxes twice a year. What would change is at the end of the year property taxes would be adjusted to reflect the 3.6%. So that means, if you paid in more than 3.6% of your gross income toward property taxes, you would get the difference back. Likewise, if you paid less than the 3.6%, you would need to send in a check.The cities would still get their money for all the services we enjoy. The schools would still get the money for the education they provide our children.
With “Fair Share Property Tax,” the only difference is 65% [in the Metro] of us would be happier. Many of us would now know we can stay in the homes and neighborhoods we help build and improve. This isn’t a communist plot.
This is what fair means. It is never fair and it is most certainly not “Minnesota Nice” to tax people out of their homes. Those homes they may have spent the better part of 50 or more years building and improving. We should reward those homeowners who have put down roots. We should not ask them to leave.
I welcome questions and comments: Anjakara@gmail.com