Democrats in the Legislature are working to make property taxes a key issue in this year’s election. Today is the deadline for homeowners to pay their property taxes. DFL House Minority Leader Paul Thissen and DFL Senator Ann Rest held a news conference at the State Capitol today to note the occasion. Thissen criticized Republicans for cutting a property tax credit in the past budget. He said Democrats would take a different approach to property taxes if they’re elected to the majority.
“Our candidates are talking to Minnesota voters and what they’re hearing from them is that we need to rebalance our tax system so that leg of the stool is not out of proportion with everything else,” Thissen said. “DFL majorities are going to focus on delivering property tax relief to Minnesotans next year.”
Thissen didn’t offer specifics as to how Democrats would reduce property taxes. The cut was a part of a budget deal reached by Republican lawmakers and Democratic Governor Mark Dayton.
Rep. Greg Davids, R-Preston, says Thissen’s accusation is unfair because most homeowners in Minnesota didn’t see large spikes in property taxes this year. Davids, who chairs the House Taxes Committee, also says the state wasn’t fully funding the credit when it was in existence.
“We took away a corrupt, dishonest, fraudulant program that the former DFL tax chair had a bill to get rid of,” Davids said. “The counties and cities came to us and said ‘Get rid of this program.”
Republicans currently control both chambers of the Minnesota Legislature. Every seat in the Legislature is on the ballot this year.