Hennepin’s Truth in Taxation Meeting

Written by Jeff Johnson on November 27, 2011. Posted in General

Public Welcome at Hearing this coming Tuesday

The County Board will hold its annual Truth in Taxation hearing on the proposed 2012 budget and property tax levy at 6 p.m., Tuesday, Nov. 29, at the Hennepin County Government Center.

The Board is scheduled to vote on the proposed budget at our regularly scheduled board meeting on December 12.  That budget contains a small decrease in actual spending (as was the case each of the past two years) and no increase in the property tax levy amount.

Despite this, many county taxpayers noted that the property tax notices they received last week indicated property tax increases for Hennepin County and other local taxing authorities.  For example, the taxable market value for my home dropped just under 1%, but my property taxes are estimated to increase 6.8%.  Specifically, my county tax will increase 7%, the City of Plymouth portion will increase 5.9%, the Wayzata School District amount will increase 7%, the Met Council tax will increase 6% and “other special taxing districts”  will increase 8.6%.

I am hearing about similar increases from many of my constituents.

There are several reasons one’s county property tax amount can increase even if the actual total tax amount collected by the county remains the same.  If, for example, my valuation drops less than the average valuation drops, I will likely see a tax increase while some of my neighbors whose valuation dropped at a greater rate might see a smaller increase or a decrease in taxes.  The state legislature and the Governor can also agree to changes in state law that might lead to a property tax increase for some, as we are likely to see next year when some owners of higher-valued homes and commercial real estate pay extra to make up for changes to the market value homestead credit to benefit owners of some lower-valued homes.

Regardless of the reasons or whose “fault” it is, however, many property owners in Hennepin County are likely to see property tax increases based on the proposed budget that will be discussed at the Truth in Taxation hearing this week.  My intent again this year is to offer an amendment to our budget to cut the property tax levy by an amount that would hold the “average” homeowner in Hennepin County harmless from a county tax increase.  While we have not determined the exact amount of that cut yet, it is likely somewhere between a 2% and 3% levy reduction.

The hearing will be held in the County Board Room on the 24th Floor of the Hennepin County Government Center, 300 S. Sixth St., Minneapolis.

Free parking is provided for residents testifying at this hearing who park in the Government Center’s underground ramp after 4:30 p.m. The ramp entrance is on 3rd Avenue between 5th and 6th streets.

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