LeMieur’s property tax excuses don’t fly

To the Editor:

A Feb. 5 St. Cloud Times article showed Minnesota property taxes increased $300 million in 2012. That article said: “The majority of taxing districts raised the burden on property owners. That’s because the state has stopped reimbursing local governments for credits received under the market value homestead credit.”

Locally, however, we have “guest editorials” and statements from Mike LeMieur telling us his votes didn’t increase property taxes. His excuse that “property taxes are levied by local governments” attempts to shift the blame away from his votes to eliminate the market value homestead credit.

Who’s telling the truth? Here’s how to prove that: If LeMieur’s votes didn’t make any difference, property taxes in areas that didn’t increase their local levies would just stay the same, right? They didn’t. They went up, even when valuations went down.

Why do property taxes go  up if local governments don’t increase them? The Times articles points out, “Local officials who kept their levies flat or even decreased a little were still asking local property owners to make up at least some of the missing state reimbursement.”

Clearly, other areas are learning the truth about LeMieur’s votes that increased property taxes. We should, too. — Jeffrey Everson, Little Falls

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