Senate DFLers for the second week in a row presented property tax relief bills to the Senate Tax Committee. The first would help 37,000 more homesteads benefit from the homestead market value exclusion, available to homeowners whose homesteads are valued under $413,800. The exclusion reduces the total taxable value of their property, but it begins phasing out at $76,000 of market value. The bill heard this week would increase both the point at which the exclusion begins to phase out and the value of property eligible for the exclusion to account for the large property value increases that have occurred in the decade since the levels were first set. The result would be a net $14 million statewide property tax decrease for eligible homeowners. (SF 3192)
The second bill proposes to increase homeowner property tax refunds for the first time since 2014 and expand the number of those who qualify. In general, the bill would lower homeowner copay amounts by between 5 and 10 percent and increase the maximum refund by $300. The bill would lower property taxes for 576,000 homeowners by an average $155 and allow about 1,000 new homeowners to qualify. (SF 3185)
Under current law, homeowners with a household income of $119,789 or less can claim a refund of up to $2,930. There is also a Targeted Refund available to homeowners whose taxes increased more than 12% and $100 over the past year, not due to improvements on the home. Renters with household income under $64,920 also are eligible for refunds. These applications must be filed separately from income tax returns. For more information and to fill out an application to receive a refund this year, visit the Department of Revenue website at https://www.revenue.state.mn.us/property-tax-refund.