Senate DFL leads with property tax relief

Under a DFL-authored bill heard in the Senate Property Tax Subcommittee this week, Minnesota homeowners whose property taxes have increased more than $100 could qualify for an additional property tax refund next year. Minnesota’s Special Property Tax Refund (also known as “Targeted Refund”) is available to all homeowners, regardless of income. The main eligibility requirement is that homestead property taxes must have increased more than $100 and 12% over the previous year’s taxes, not due to improvements on the home. The bill considered this week would reduce that percentage threshold to 10%, allowing an estimated 17,000 additional homeowners to qualify.

The maximum refund under the program is $1,000. Last year, about 100,000 homeowners received an average refund of $96, although the average refund has been as high as $152 depending on the year. The bill’s author described the legislation as an affordable way to deliver modest tax relief to homeowners trying to absorb property tax increases during a difficult financial year.

The Special Property Tax Refund is offered in addition to the regular Homestead Credit Refund in Minnesota. Property tax refund applications must be submitted separate from income taxes filings. Information on all available refund programs may be found on the Department of Revenue’s website.

The bill was laid over for possible inclusion in an omnibus bill (SF 138).