MN Lawmakers Can’t Agree If Homestead Credit Worked

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Representative Pat Garofalo

Click photo to watch debate over effectivness of homestead property tax credit

Click photo to watch debate over effectivness of homestead property tax credit

Did the homestead credit that the legislature removed last year really increase your property taxes?

DFLers say Minnesota has seen a $370 million increase in property taxes this year and the loss of the homestead credit accounts for $292 million of it.

Representative Pat Garofalo (R) says citizens were not receiving a tax credit under the program. Representative Ann Lenczewski (DFL) tells him he should look at his property tax statements for the last 20 years and he’ll find the credit, which is more than zero.

Rep. Pat Garofalo
And my friend Representative Lenczewski , I just can’t believe that I heard you say, maybe I’m paraphrasing, that you thought that this program was working. That the property tax statements the citizens of Minnesota were getting had lies on them. They were getting a credit, or falsely being claimed they were receiving a credit that was not being allocated. It was a complete… when you were chair of this committee, when you were chair of this committee we had a hearing on this issue. And on a bi-partisan basis we recognized the fact that the property tax statements were lies. And so our definition now of what an effective program is, is that credit that are not going to taxpayers, that are not being spent by the state of Minnesota are effective programs. That’s what was happing under the old program. And you can shake your head but that’s what it was. The money was not being allocated by the state of Minnesota. The citizens were not receiving a tax credit. That is the fact.

Representative Ann Lenczewski
But Representative Garofalo you said it again when you closed, that the individuals never got paid this. And again, the individuals always got paid this

Rep. Pat Garofalo
No they didn’t.

Representative Ann Lenczewski
Mr. Chair if you want if you want to ask a non-partisan person to explain it. I’ve tried repeatedly and I maybe am not being clear. But Representative Garofalo go get your property tax statement on your house for the last 20 years and look and see if you got it. And tell me when it says “zero”. The mayor of Farmington or Northfield, I’m not sure where you live, might have sometimes not gotten all of it and he was mad about it. But you, Representative Garofalo, you got your homestead credit.

Michael McIntee

Michael McIntee is a former network TV news executive with more than 30 years of broadcasting experience. He began his broadcasting career at the University of Minnesota's student radio station. He is an expert producer, writer, video editor who has a fondness for new technology but denies that he is a geek. More about Michael McIntee »

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