DFL leader aims to minimize school reliance on property tax levies

Publish date:
Updated on

Incoming Minnesota Senate Majority Leader Tom Bakk, DFL-Cook, is concerned school districts have to rely too much on local taxpayers to generate operating money. Minnesota Public Radio notes 90 percent of school districts in the state have such levies.

"It's an unfair way to fund schools," Bakk told MPR. "You get funding disparities all over the state, because some districts just have a totally different tax capacity or totally different demographics. So there's a lot of reasons that some districts -- no matter how hard they try, no matter how bad they need it -- they can't get a levy passed by people."

Tax reform, education, job creation, public works and a bonding bill are expected to be top priorities when Democrats takes control of the Minnesota Legislature on Jan. 8. Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton has also indicated he plans to put a major tax package on the table.

State lawmakers must balance a two-year budget and adjourn by May 20, but Forum Communications reports there's no concerns of another state government shutdown.

Next Up


School levy increase approved in St. Paul

A $39 million levy proposal was approved for schools in St. Paul over the next eight years with more than 60 percent of the vote. The measure includes the renewal of a previous $30 million levy and and additional $9 million for technology upgrades.

Senate GOP leaders release plan to phase out business property taxes

Republican leaders say the change would save Minnesota businesses $50 million the first year. That amount may well be added to the state budget deficit. The Senate GOP says the job creation would be worth it. DFL critics say there's no assurance that companies would used the money they save to create jobs.

Tax levy hikes expected on both sides of river

St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman says he'll propose to increase the city's property tax levy by about 2 percent. Minneapolis Mayor RT Rybak's spokesman says he's aiming for a tax levy increase of less than 3 percent.

St. Paul schools chief seeks levy increase

St. Paul schools Superintendent Valeria Silva wants to ask voters for extra money in November. She proposes renewing an existing schools levy -- and raising it. A current levy has brought in about $30 million a year since 2006. The proposed raise would amount to an extra $65 a year on a $149,000 home, the median value in the district this year.