A top priority in the 2012 legislative session will be passing a package of bills designed to provide millions in tax relief for homeowners and businesses across Minnesota.
The homeowners’ tax relief especially helps people who saw their local property taxes rise by 12 percent or more in 2012. For those homeowners, the plan increases the percentage of property taxes the state refunds from the current 60% to 90%. It also increases the maximum refund available to already eligible homeowners by 20%.
The best property tax relief is given directly to people who pay property taxes: home and business owners. Our plan provides an approximately 18% cut in the statewide property tax burden for Greater Minnesota commercial/industrial properties, and a 4% reduction for metro area commercial/industrial properties.
One thing we that has become very clear as we look to recover from this recession is the cost of doing business in Minnesota is too high. National retailers have said they are astonished at our tax rates, which are among the country’s highest in terms of commercial industrial property taxes. This puts us at competitive disadvantage with our neighboring states.
Small businesses are the backbone of our economy and they are the ones who will lead us to a full economic recovery. We have spent the last few months asking citizens, local officials and Main Street businesses what improvements the state can make to help them thrive. Below is some of what we heard and plan to enact in 2012:
- Freeze the state General Fund inflator starting in FY 2013
- Start the process of getting the state out of the business of collecting property taxes altogether with a 20-year phase-out
- Improve the job climate by eliminating the statewide business property tax, one of most burdensome costs of owning a business property
- Provide the same dollar amount of relief to each business across Minnesota regardless of overall value
- Fix abnormal increases in homeowner property tax
I will keep you informed as things develop and provide more details as these proposals are firmed up. Please continue to provide me with your thoughts on the issues.