The Legislature cut $129 million worth of sales taxes to cities and counties and increased aid by about $130 million. But proposed preliminary levies statewide would increase property taxes by $80 million for cities and counties.
In July, Dayton and his administration predicted at $121 million cut in property taxes at the local level. So far, they’re almost $200 million off if all the preliminary levies stay in place.
Past history suggests that will not be the case. Many local governments set preliminary levies at an artificially high level and then reduce them. That’s clearly warranted in many, many cases.
But taxpayers should ask the tough questions of their local governments. Sure, some put off road projects for years as local government aid was cut. Some put off real necessities. But some probably did just fine during those years as well.
If you don’t like your property tax bill, now is the time to let your local officials know about it and ask the tough questions.