Puzzlement reigns over tax notices; share your story

Cody Tresselt-Warren doesn’t get it. His property taxes are going up, but his property value has gone down. The city, county and school district have cut or frozen their budgets, yet his property taxes are still going up.

Tresselt-Warren is a first-time homeowner – he and his wife Christine moved into their Apple Valley home in April – and so far he’s happy. “I enjoy beautiful parks and trails, a very responsive police and fire department, and a strong public works department.” He doesn’t mind paying a little more for the services he receives and his property taxes are only going up 1 percent this year. But this insert in his proposed property tax notice got him frustrated:

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The cuts that are having the most direct effect on the couple are school district budget cuts. Christine has been substitute teaching for the two years since she finished school but has yet to find a full-time teaching job.

Cody is a tax accountant so he understands the basic numbers – it’s the lack of specifics that’s gotten him frustrated. So he’ll be at the Apple Valley budget and tax hearing next week to seek the details. At 25, he’ll probably be one of the younger people at the meeting, but he wants to be an active homeowner and understand what’s happening in his community. He’ll check in with us after the meeting and let us know what he learned.

He’s one of the people in our Public Insight Network who shared his thoughts on property taxes.

We’ve been hearing from other property owners around the state about what’s going to be happening with their taxes next year – and how they feel about it. PIN analyst Molly Bloom talked to Tresselt-Warren and put together a collection of those other responses. Some are happy with what those taxes are buying; some are not.

Sari Milinovic in Duluth, for example, doesn’t like some of the school spending she sees. Jamila Hakam in Minneapolis says Hennepin County is doing fine with its tax money.

Read what they and others have to say on the map below. We’d love to hear from you, too – share what’s happening with your property taxes here or in the comments.

View Property taxes around Minnesota in a full screen map

Read more about the dilemmas communities all over Minnesota are facing when it comes to taxes and spending by visiting our Forced to Choose series.