The Minnesota Department of Revenue says statewide property tax costs fell by $8 million between 2013 and 2014.
Gov. Mark Dayton and DFL legislators said that their budget plan would reduce overall property taxes - but the figure didn’t drop anywhere close to the $121 million they initially projected last July.
Revenue Commissioner Myron Frans said his department's analysis shows that local governments increased their property tax rates by $125 million, but direct refunds and credits to homeowners and renters resulted in an overall reduction in property taxes.
“The net number is an overall reduction in property taxes statewide for the first time since 2002," he said. "Those are great facts and you can make whatever you want of them, but the fact of the matter is this is the first decrease in over a decade in property taxes after refunds.”
The analysis doesn’t mean every homeowner saw a reduction in property taxes.
GOP legislators note that the governor and the DFL-controlled Legislature raised other taxes by more than 2 billion dollars last year, and promised much higher property tax breaks.
"The idea was, at least that’s what we were told, that by raising income taxes and other taxes they would then be able to have dramatic property tax relief, and that’s not the way it has turned out to be," said Rep. Paul Torkelson, R-Hanska.
Here's the one page report released by the Department of Revenue: