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To fix deteriorating roads and bridges, property taxes for Minnesotans expected to rise


Want roads and schools to improve in your neighborhood? Well, you may have to cough up 4 percent more in taxes next year to pay for it.

Minnesotans will pay the price for a couple of years of relief from big tax hikes, as cities, counties and school districts are all expected to reveal increases twice the size of last year's, according to estimates from the state's revenue department.

And after last winter's frigid temperatures exacted a heavy toll on Minnesota's roads, Revenue Commissioner Myron Frans told the Pioneer Press the roads are a priority. He said local officials are being pressured to make repairs and improve other infrastructure, which is part of what's leading to the expected tax hike.

In the fallout from last winter, the state of Minnesota forked out an extra $15 million on pothole repairs on state highways, city and county roads, KARE 11 reports, while at the local level, St. Paul was one of the councils to dip into emergency funds to carry out repairs on some of its worst-hit roads.

MPR reports the tax hike will also be bigger than usual because the local tax burden is falling back on homeowners, after a period of years during the financial crisis when more was taken from businesses.

The Pioneer Press notes that in 2013 and 2014, more financial aid was provided to local entities – such as schools or governments – so they could keep property taxes on individuals lower. But now that financial aid is done, meaning those entities have to dip into property taxes to once again get funding.

Cities, counties, townships and school districts will make their final decision on tax levels for 2015 on Dec. 26.

In total, Minnesotans could end up handing over an estimated $7.93 billion in property taxes next year, up from $7.62 billion in 2014, according to KSTP.

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