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Preliminary Property Tax Levies for 2020

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ST. PAUL, Minn. - The Minnesota Department of Revenue annually releases a list of the preliminary maximum property tax levies that have been reported by local governments and have been passed by local school referenda on November 5, 2019.

The preliminary amounts are used by counties to compute parcel-specific property tax estimates for 2020, which are mailed to property owners in November in the form of Truth-in-Taxation notices. Truth-in-Taxation notices also list Truth-in-Taxation meeting times and locations for residents. These meetings, which take place between late November and late December, are an opportunity for Minnesotans to provide input to local leaders on their levies and on how they are proposing to spend tax dollars. These meetings are required for cities with populations over 500, counties, school districts, regional library authorities, and metropolitan taxing districts.  

After input from citizens, local governments must set their final 2020 property tax levies by December 30, 2019. The final levies can be set lower, but not higher, than preliminary levies. The department will release final property tax levy information in February. 

For 2020, preliminary property taxes statewide will increase $540.4 million, a 5.2% increase. Last year, preliminary statewide property tax increases totaled $560 million, a 5.7% increase, and last year’s final levy increase was 5.4% ($524 million). 

Cities - The 2020 preliminary property tax levies for cities will total approximately $2.711 billion compared with a final levy of $2.521 billion in 2019, a 7.5% increase*.

Counties - The 2020 preliminary property tax levies for counties will total approximately $3.455 billion compared with a final levy of $3.295 billion in 2019, a 4.9% increase.

Townships - The 2020 preliminary property tax levies for townships will total approximately $269 million compared with a final levy of $258 million in 2019, a 4.1% increase.

Schools - The 2020 preliminary property tax levies for schools will total approximately $3.323 billion compared with a final levy of $3.106 billion in 2019, a 7% increase.

Special Taxing Districts - The 2020 preliminary property tax levies for special taxing districts will total approximately $406 million compared with a final levy of $393 million in 2019, a 3.2% increase.

Truth-in-Taxation notices do not include the results of levy referenda for operations or capital projects by 67 of Minnesota’s school districts. The results of these referenda are included in the summarized data. Statewide, 57 of the 67 referenda at least partially passed.

The preliminary property tax levy information for local governments and schools is available on the Department of Revenue Property Tax Reports and Data website

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*Note on city of St. Paul preliminary levy
The city of St. Paul’s preliminary levy includes a $27.1 million increase to pay for coordinated garbage service in the case of a ‘No’ vote for the referendum on November 5, 2019. This accounted for 17.4% of the 22.2% preliminary levy increase for the city.

The outcome of the referendum was a ‘Yes’ vote to continue the current garbage service and means the city will not pay for coordinated garbage service. If the preliminary increase of $27.1 million were excluded, the total statewide levy increase for cities would be closer to 6.5%.

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Ryan Brown
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