In a year with property tax hikes, few residents fret

This is the time of the year when the actions of citizens tend not to match their words. It’s tax hearing time in Minnesota.

Were the nation not embroiled in the question of whether Muslims should be banned from entering the country, there’s a pretty fair chance the economy — and specifically, taxes — would dominate the campaigns.

No tax increase is too small to get people worked up.

And yet, few people show up at municipal hearings on taxes, which follow the mailing of the Truth in Taxation statements, which this year have been showing large tax increases.

The latest city to test the will of people to have their taxes raised: Mankato. The number of the city’s 40,000 residents who showed up to try to whittle down the near double-digit percentage spending increase: zero, the Mankato Free Press reports.

Last night the City Council approved a 9.1 percent increase in the property tax to be collected.

The vote was unanimous, although one council member said it was unsettling how fast the cost of city services is rising. It’s the largest levy increase in 10 years.

Cities and counties all over Minnesota are using the economic good times for major increases in spending. And, so far, the public is relatively serene about it.

Said the Mankato Free Press:

The seven chairs for council members were full, as were the six for staff members and three for media representatives. Not a single member of the general public attended, leaving the council and staff facing 85 empty chairs in the council chambers.

In Owatonna earlier this month, the City Council approved a tax levy increase. Only one resident showed up.