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Last Updated: 3/9/2012

Study of the Metropolitan Area Fiscal Disparities Program

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The Twin Cities Metropolitan Area Fiscal Disparities Program was enacted in 1971 and aimed to address growing fiscal concerns within the seven-county Minneapolis-St. Paul region. A study of this program was required by 2010 laws (Chapter 389) and conducted by TischlerBise.

Julie Herlands, Principal, and L. Carson Bise II, President, of TischlerBise testified before the House and Senate Tax Committees on Feb. 15 and Feb. 16, 2012 to explain the study and the information it contains .

The study provides information and analysis on:

  • Growth trends in the Twin Cities metro region;
  • Fiscal and economic conditions in the region;
  • The basics of the Fiscal Disparities program, including what has been said about it in the past and today, what the trends have been regarding the program’s impact on taxes and what the changes would be if the program were eliminated;
  • The potential “overburden” on jurisdictions — cities, counties, schools — from different types of land uses both under the current taxation system (with Fiscal Disparities) and a hypothetical scenario if the program were eliminated; and
  • Major policy considerations addressing criticisms, issues and praise for the program.

Errors found in Fiscal Disparities Program Study; Revised report posted below

Errors were found in the Department's modeling of the property tax impacts of the elimination of the fiscal disparities program. The impacts by groupings (county, regional classification and contributor/recipient status) change modestly and the findings of the study remain the same. Impacts for some individual cities listed in Appendix B are more significant in terms of tax rates and rankings; however the municipalities most affected by changes to the program generally hold with a few exceptions. The report has been corrected and a revised version is posted below.

Study of the Metropolitan Area Fiscal Disparities Program - Full Report (235 pages)
The full report includes the executive summary, but does not include Technical Appendix F.

Executive Summary (44 pages)

Technical Appendix F: Levels of Service / Cost and Revenue Factors (123 pages)

Pay 2011 Metro Average Tax Rate by Municipality


Media Contact: Lisa Erickson, 651-556-6397​