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The Sleepy Eye Herald Dispatch - Sleepy Eye, MN
  • Rep. Torkelson: property tax relief bill could be costly for MN

  • On April 2, the Minnesota House Democrat majority unveiled a $250 million spending proposal that would provide more tax relief for homeowners and new LGA for communities.
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  • On April 2, the Minnesota House Democrat majority unveiled a $250 million spending proposal that would provide more tax relief for homeowners and new LGA for communities.
     
    State Representative Paul Torkelson (R-Hanska) who is the Republican lead on the Minnesota House Property and Local Tax Division, said Democrats are missing an opportunity with this proposal.
     
    “I support the idea of property tax relief, but I do not support the way the House majority is attempting to address it,” Torkelson said.
     
    “I also found it interesting that during the last campaign Democrats told voters they would reinstate the Market Value Homestead Credit if ushered into office, and now they have reneged on that promise.”
     
    Torkelson said House Democrats are offering no direct property tax relief to businesses or agriculture land. Minnesota farmers have experienced double digit percent increases in property values, which has led to large property tax increases.
     
    Further, homeowner property taxes are going down 3.4 percent in 2013, while ag land is rising by 12.6 percent.
     
    Torkelson also criticized the House Democrat decision to cut $150 million from Minnesota’s health budget. Doing so almost guarantees that nursing homes, and their employees, will not receive any funding increases over the next two years.
     
    “At nearly every town meeting or event I attend, I am told about the need for new funding for our nursing homes,” Torkelson said. “The decision to cut spending in this area means nursing home employees will not be receiving raises at a time when it is desperately needed. Raising taxes for small property tax refunds and ignoring the needs of our nursing homes and their workers sends a poor message to rural Minnesota.”
     
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