Hennepin Co. residents to be hit with 4.5 percent property tax hike next year - Bring Me The News

Hennepin Co. residents to be hit with 4.5 percent property tax hike next year

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Homeowners and businesses in Hennepin County face a property tax hike of 4.5 percent next year under budget proposals put forward Tuesday.

Hennepin County Administrator David Hough revealed a $1.9 billion budget for 2016 – a $109.4 million rise from last year's adjusted budget, according to a news release.

Of this, some $726.8 million – an increase of $31.2 million, or 4.48 percent – will be generated from the property tax level.

According to WCCO, this means residents living in an average-value home in Minnesota's most populated county will have around $40 added onto their upcoming tax bills. In Minneapolis, bills will see a $37 increase for a median-valued home, the Star Tribune reports, while in the suburbs it will be at $41.

Part of the reason for the hike, WCCO notes, is to cover the cost of more county employees, with the Star Tribune adding this in particular will see increased staffing levels in the county's child protective services.

Hough told the Star Tribune that the tax levy "reflects significant demands for quality services we provide to our residents" – admitting that the figure is "not insignificant" but is "necessary" to maintain service levels.

Individual county departments will discuss its own budget requirements at a series of meetings over the coming weeks, with the county putting together an amended budget proposal afterward, which will be discussed in December.

Hennepin's tax rise higher than other big counties

The Star Tribune says the average tax increase over the past six years in Hennepin County has average 1.3 percent, meaning homeowners can expect to be landed with an increase three times higher than what they're used to.

That said, the county did implement a higher-than-usual 2.4 percent increase last year, according to its website.

By contrast, Ramsey County – the second largest county in Minnesota which includes St. Paul – last month revealed plans to increase its property tax level by 2.8 percent for each of the next two years, the Pioneer Press reports.

Elsewhere, St. Louis County announced Tuesday night it would be freezing its property tax levy at this year's level, the Duluth News Tribune reports,

The county's deputy administrator for operations and budget Linnea Mirsch said tax bills are being kept down by a combination of the recovering economy, higher real estate values and booming construction.

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Property-tax warnings hit record high in Hennepin County

The number of delinquent taxpayers in Hennepin County has dropped, but more taxpayers are at risk of losing their properties to pay off their tax bills. Hundreds of property owners owe the county nearly $43 million in back taxes and penalties. The Star Tribune reports the county sent out a record 931 notices last year warning owners the deadline to redeem their properties was about to expire.