Thursday, February 19, 2009

Are You a Renter?

You might want to take a look at Governor Pawlenty’s proposed tax bill. One of his proposed cuts is to the Renter’s Credit, which provides a tax refund to nearly 275,000 Minnesotans who rent. According to the nonpartisan Research Department of the Minnesota House of Representatives, the Renter’s credit was designed to provide “tax relief to renters whose rent and “implicit property taxes” are high relative to their incomes.”

The Minnesota Budget Project (MBP), an initiative of the Minnesota Council of Nonprofits, is deeply concerned about the cuts. The MBP provides independent research, analysis and outreach on state and federal budget and tax policy issues, emphasizing their impact on low- and moderate-income persons. According to one of their recent Minnesota Budget Bites blog entries, the 27% proposed cut in Renter’s Credit “raises some serious concerns about its impact on struggling Minnesotans and the fairness of our tax system.” According to their research, seniors and people with disabilities make up 28% of all Renter’s Credit recipients. (To find out more about eligibility, you can visit the Minnesota Department of Revenue website.)

The Minnesota House of Representatives has set up a property tax comment line for taxpayers to have a voice in finding the solutions to rising property taxes. Should property tax relief come on the backs of those potentially with the lowest incomes? Do you agree with the Minnesota Budget Project that rental property taxes are one of the most regressive parts of the Minnesota tax code?


  1. A very timely topic. Several intriguing questions.

    It is sad to see that equity concern often takes a back seat when the government is desperate to find ways to cut.

  2. A couple of weeks ago my friend told me she would be able to get some refunded rent payment. Since then I've been wondering why my house-owner has never mentioned anything about rent refunding. Thank you for the post! Now I get the answer. I am not qualified because the house is a church, "a building that is exempt from property tax."

  3. I thought this was really interesting. The renter's credit is a tax that I thought was particularly creative and progressive for Minnesota- and its always nice to get that check in the mail :). It would be unfortunate to see that be a victim of this year's budget crisis.

  4. Taina, congratulations for getting the "Post of the Week."
    Keep up the great work!