The Minnesota Farmers Union, the Minnesota Farm Bureau, and other state farm organizations joined Sen. Lyle Koenen (DFL-Clara City) this week to announce the bipartisan Minnesota Family Farm Protection Act. The bill would limit the amount of farmland subject to bond levy-associated property tax increases to a farmer’s house, garage, and one acre of land.
Current state law ties capital bond levies to the entire amount of land owned, while school operating levies recognize the provision for only the house, garage, and one acre of land. This bill would affect construction levies offered by schools, cities, and counties and seeks to limit disproportionate taxation of urban and rural Minnesotans.
In the last ten years, farms have seen a 131.7% increase in property taxes, while property taxes have only increased by 23.5% on residential homesteads and by 54.9% on commercial/industrial property during that same time. This illustrates how dramatically taxes have increased on Ag land, and this bill is an attempt to try and control this rapid increase. If successful, the bill will treat all property owners more fairly when it comes to these levies.