Schools lead the way in tax levy increases

The Minnesota Department of Revenue has released its annual list of preliminary maximum property tax levies from local governments, which in many cases could lead to higher individual tax bills.

Not surprisingly, considering last week’s local school referenda, the more sizable increases are from the schools. Statewide, it’s about a 7.5 percent increase, with about half of that with the permission of voters in those referenda.

Here’s the top increases among schools.


The preliminary tax levy from cities, meanwhile, is 5.2 percent.

The biggest increase goes to Gilman, Minn., a burg of a little more than 200 northwest of St. Cloud.

Not surprisingly, most of the larger levy increases are in small towns.


That’s true of counties, also. The top increases are all found in outlying areas.


Counties have collectively filed for a 3.7 percent increase.

Of course, none of this is official. Truth in Taxation hearings will be held later this month and next, giving officials a chance to whittle some of the increases down.

  • MrE85

    I don’t mind paying more for education, if that would close the racial gap, boost graduation rates, give more kids in need some decent meals, and build a new school now and then when needed. But I don’t see a lot of progress on those fronts.

    • Eric Dahlen III

      Money does not do anything for those issues, other than building new schools.

  • Gary F

    Funny, such a coincidence that the Truth in Taxation meeting is always AFTER, the election.

  • Thomas Mercier

    Some of my wife’s family is in the Waterville-Elysian-Morristown school district and are glad that one of their two referendums passed. The second which would have helped replace the crumbling schools didn’t pass. I heard some of the opposition was concentrated around Morristown which is on the list of cities and also on the list of counties (Rice). Folks there were understandably concerned about the amount their taxes could be going up .

    • crystals

      I also think schools are often put in the unfair position of being the one (or one of the few) public institution(s) that puts levies up for public vote. In my community the schools take a lot of heat about referendums because they’re the one place voters can directly say NO to a tax increase, right there on the ballot.

      Yes, at some point voters can cast a vote against the politicians who raise their taxes. I just think schools are at a disadvantage by having to ask when other institutions (and the elected officials within them) just do.

      • Eric Dahlen III

        Unfair? How is it unfair to have to ask me if I am willing to pay more? I say the other institutions that just do it without asking are the unfair ones.

        • crystals

          It’s not unfair to you. Schools are in the unfair position of being the only ones that have to ask, and thus being the outlet for very fair frustration about taxes en masse. I wish others had to ask too. And for the record, I’d support the schools every time and some of the other levies…much less.