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Editorial: Finally, some good news on LGA

Daily Globe

A new study released earlier this month by Minnesota 2020 shows that across the state, average homesteads (new and existing) are expected to see a decline of 6.4 percent in property taxes once direct refunds are factored in.

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Property taxes are expected to decrease by an even greater percentage in southwest Minnesota, according to Matt Entenza, Minnesota 2020 Senior Fellow and Founder (and, coincidentally, a Worthington High School graduate). Entenza, who visited the Daily Globe on Monday, said property taxes could go down by about 10 percent throughout the region. “It’s really good news, and it shows we are finally getting property tax relief,” he said. “That’s a real credit to Mayor (Alan) Oberloh and leaders in cities like Worthington, and also a credit to Gov. (Mark) Dayton and the Legislature for returning funding to Local Government Aid.”

LGA to Worthington, of course, began falling 10 years ago, when it shrank from a $448-per capita amount for 2002 to $380 per capita in 2003. That figure eventually dropped to $210 per capita for the state’s 2013 budget year, but it has moved upward to $235 for 2014.

Worthington isn’t expected to have the tax base of a suburban Twin Cities community any time soon, so LGA will remain critical to ensuring that the city can continue providing its core services.

“Property taxes are among the most unfair taxes because they aren’t based on the ability to pay,” Entenza said. “The Minnesota Legislature and Gov. Dayton have brought fairness back to Minnesota’s tax system by investing in Local Government Aid and other forms of property tax relief.”

This year, we’re thankful LGA is trending in a positive direction.