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Minnesota property tax system is outdated

The reasons why Minnesota property taxes are at the breaking point are primarily local spending at unsustainable levels and the inability of our Legislature to recognize the real problem of the outdated property tax assessment system.

Rep. Marquart announces that replacing "homestead credit" with "value exclusion" has brought chaos to property owners. The Becker County Taxpayers Association (BCTA), Inc., believes that the assessment appraisal system is unbelievably flawed. Rep. Marquart refuses to accept facts and stands by 19th century standards. In my opinion, the homestead credit is nothing more than an attempt to compensate for assessor errors that range from 51 percent to well over 100 percent. To complement this is an unnecessary "property tax refund" program.

The assessment system of Minnesota reportedly costs $50 million to the taxpayers. Sales and income tax administrators are subject to state audits, but not property tax. In my opinion, assessors are not held accountable and abusive assessor retribution actions are condoned at local and state levels. Why?

Ask your county commissioner and legislator why three widows in less than a six mile stretch of one county highway were overvalued by $110,000, $70,000, and $105,000.

-- Les Ristinen, Frazee