Strib: “Oops – Sorry About All Those Unexpected Property Tax Hikes”

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.

11 thoughts on “Strib: “Oops – Sorry About All Those Unexpected Property Tax Hikes”

  1. Meanwhile, over here in St. Croix county just across the river I’ve seen my property tax bill drop for the third year in a row. And it started out significantly lower than my bill for a house that cost the same in Washington county years ago.

    Now if Walker will just cut the income tax like he’s promised then my net burden will go down significantly over what it was in MN. Of course, with Dayton’s income tax hikes I’m not sure how much worse off I’d be if I’d stayed in MN and I’m not willing to find out.

  2. And when you think the Star-Tribune couldn’t get any more liberal………walked by the newstand on Sunday. Large color photo, most of it above the fold, of two homosexual men kissing each other. Just like a guy and lady do. This is their way of giving a big F.U. to anyone who supports traditional marriage.

    As they say, there is one thing worse than a sore loser, and that is a sore winner.

  3. I just love (not) how the state says ” Your property taxes increased by more than 10% this year, here is some relief (a one-time refund). (If your income is not too high, otherwise, just suck it up.)” Never mind that the next year, your property taxes can go up another 9.5%, so you get no refund, and now your taxes are 20% higher than 2 years prior.

  4. Sadly, like school referendums and tax refunds, these increases and unbalanced refunds will pass mostly unnoticed since it’s not real money.

    Anyone selfish enough to question them will be confronted with such an assortment of unwed mothers, teachers, and similar “more worthy than you” types that there won’t be a dry eye on the sidelines of every soccer field in the state.

    Like union dues, these increases should be required to be paid out-of-pocket rather than as a gradual annual bump. I think even the soccer moms of the state might then take a dim view of them …

  5. Let’s rename medicaid premiums paid by the state as medical tax refunds…rename payments to build roads as “gas tax refunds to contractors who need them”… rename payments made to school districts as “teacher refunds”…etc.

    You know we could be one of the lowest taxed states in the nation!!!!!

    Dang it’s just language.

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  7. It just goes to prove that property taxes will be, absent adult leadership, what government thinks the goose will bear, not what they need. The Kasson-Mantorville (“Kastorville; famous for our oils since…”) school district recently took a phone poll to determine what level of school bond would be necessary.

    They apparently didn’t figure out what was needed, but rather simply tried to figure out what the market will bear. My vote will be “no” unless they can prove they’re serious about figuring out actual needs.

  8. And yet, Alida’s lefty propaganda mill is out there claiming property taxes are down statewide.

    Honest to God, it’s really time to re-institute poll tests.

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