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Monday, August 11, 2008

Property Tax Relief: Kalin Style

One of Rep. Jeremy Kalin’s (D-17B) legislative goals was to secure property tax relief. Looking at his literature, updates and press releases reveals property tax relief and property tax reform is a dominant theme, for example, here, here, here and currently, where he says:
"And we took significant steps toward Property Tax Reform, limiting property tax levy increases to just 3.9% a year, and increasing the direct property tax rebate fund by $25 million."
His own campaign manager exulted in finally gaining property tax relief through Kalin’s efforts. The new 2008 local government aid (LGA) law provides $42 million more for Minnesota cities that will be payable in 2009. $42 million is a significant amount. Why, to hear Kalin and Vitalis tell it, Kalin gave us RELIEF!!

But that relief is not all what it is cracked up to be, as we have previously noted. In that post we noted that 4 cities in Chisago County gained LGA while 6 cities lost LGA for a combined gain county-wide of $121,093. That’s not much relief!

So what is the 10 Chisago County cities’ share of the new LGA? Our 10 cities will receive $121,093 of the $42,000,000. That is 0.29% of the total increase in LGA. That’s not much relief! That’s not worth writing home about. That’s not any cause for celebration. That’s not worth all the hoopla from Kalin’s campaign manager.

Kalin and Olseen did not bring home the bacon. The Sugar Daddy didn’t come through. And Vitalis is crowing about little or nothing.

And don’t forget—all the $42,000,000 classified as "tax relief" is paid by you, the taxpayer. Kalin takes your money and hands it back to you as if the state paid for it. And then Vitalis crows that Kalin gave you "tax relief." Some deal!

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