If there’s a “broken record” phrase in all of Minnesota conservative alt-media, it’s “the Star Tribune is carrying the water for the DFL”.
It’s like saying “Boy, isn’t Lady Gaga weird”. It’s the baseline. It hardly needs to be said.
As Strib observers and critics go, I’m more jaded and cynical than most, which is another way of saying “almost cynical enough”.
But even I – who doesn’t really doubt that the Strib’s editors, and likely some “journalists”, are on the local version of “Journo-List” with the DFL, Take Action, Alliance for a Better Minnesota and Alida Messinger – wasn’t ready for the avalanche of lies and bald-faced image-shaping in this editorial.
The subtitle says it all: “Relief not as sizable as hoped, but help goes where it’s most needed.”
There was no relief, and the “help” was taken from most Minnesotans and given to the Minnesotans whose votes the DFL wants to buy!
It only gets worse:
As many previous statehouse politicians learned to their sorrow, local property taxes are hard to control from the Capitol. That reality has hit home to the DFLers in charge of the Legislature and the governor’s office.
They thought they set the table in 2013 for noticeable reductions in property taxes around the state. Instead, they got mixed results and a muddled message. Total K-12 school and local government levies are up $125 million this year, giving Republican politicians the chance to crow that the DFL’s tax-suppression strategy failed.
There was no “DFL Tax-Suppression Strategy, other than repeating “raising Local Government Aid will lower property taxes!” enough times for the incurious to believe it.
But DFLers also engineered an increase in property tax refunds for both homeowners and renters, distributed on an income-based formula to low- and middle-income taxpayers facing high tax bills. Factor in estimated claims for the richer refunds, and net property taxes in 2014 are down slightly from 2013 — by $8 million, or 0.1 percent…But count us too among fans of the $133 million boost this year in refunds to qualifying taxpayers. The income-driven property tax refund and renters’ credit are well-designed programs that this year will reach an estimated 550,000 property owners and renters — up from 140,000 previously eligible.
“Income based formula”.
In other words, the DFL took money from some people, and gave it to others.
That’s not a tax cut. That’s redistribution. That’s the state picking winners and losers.
That leaves plenty of Minnesota’s 2.1 million households staring at higher taxes again this spring. This is the 12th year in a row for increases in total property tax burdens, with yearly increases averaging $332 million.
But the credits are helping to stabilize housing for low-income Minnesotans by sending help to those whose property tax bills are high enough in proportion to their incomes that their ability to remain in their homes could otherwise be in doubt.
That’s not “property tax relief”. That’s a social program, using the state to funnel money to overextended low-income home owners.
The refunds may not stifle political criticism, but they’re sound policy.
No. They are DFL campaign spending.
Fact: after two years of the DFL claiming at every turn that the GOP’s cuts to LGA hiked property taxes, and that their reinstatement would “cut property taxes” – their words, over and over and over again – nearly 80% of Minnesota’s jurisdictions raised property taxes.
The DFL lied to the people.
TheStrib, in this editorial, is covering for the lie, and doing it clumsily.
Well, too clumsily to fool anyone that’s paying attention.
But the Strib’s political coverage isn’t aimed at that audience.