Preliminary local levy figures show Minnesota property taxes rising on average by 4 percent


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ST. PAUL, Minnesota — Minnesota property taxes are on course to rise by an average of 4 percent next year, according to a preliminary analysis of local government levy proposals.

The state Department of Revenue compiled the projected increases, which won't be finalized for another month. The maximum levies total $7.93 billion, which is up from $7.62 billion this year, the St. Paul Pioneer Press reported Wednesday ( ).

Taxes owed by homeowners, business owners and farmers vary depending on where they live, the value of parcels and whether certain credits apply. In some places, some homeowners will pay less next year because a community's swelling tax base would shift some of the burden.

The actual tax bills could be smaller than the projections because December truth-in-taxation hearings can lead to reductions when cities and counties finalize their levies.

Across the state, cities have proposed an average 4.6 percent property-tax increase. Counties are seeking 3 percent more and townships would levy an additional 2 percent. School levies will increase 5.7 percent, bolstered by $44 million in new or renewed referenda approved by voters across the state.

Revenue Commissioner Myron Frans said the impending increases are about twice as large as they were last year. Local leaders focused last year on tamping down levies after a decade of steep hikes, but they're under growing pressure to spend more on roads and other infrastructure and salary increases, he said.

Local officials must set their final 2015 levies by Dec. 26. A new state analysis will be completed by February.

Traditionally, Frans said the final totals are usually $20 million to $50 million lower statewide than the preliminary ones.

Information from: St. Paul Pioneer Press,

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