Dec 6, 2022 - News

Minneapolis, St. Paul debate taxes and spending

Illustration of a city skyline made of dollars.

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

Minneapolis, St. Paul and many other cities will approve 2023 budgets and tax levies this week.

Why it matters: There's a pretty good chance your property taxes are going up. Collectively, Minnesota school districts, cities, counties and special districts have proposed to raise tax levies by 6% from last year, according to the Minnesota Department of Revenue.

  • Tax bills will vary depending on where you live and how your home's value changed in comparison to the rest of your community. Plus, local governments could still trim their budgets to lower the hikes.

Driving the news: The two biggest cities are debating much different budgeting issues.

St. Paul property taxpayers are facing a 15.3% levy increase, though council members hope to pare that down by a percentage point, according to the Pioneer Press.

  • The owner of a median valued St. Paul home ($261,800) would see a $281 increase next year in the city portion of their property taxes, per the paper.
  • The size of that increase has outraged some residents who weighed in at recent public hearings.
  • About half of the increase is needed to cover street maintenance following a legal challenge over the assessments the city previously used to pay for those costs, officials say.
  • Mayor Melvin Carter's proposed budget includes more parks and recreation maintenance staff and more medic cadets for the fire department.

Meanwhile: Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey is proposing a more modest levy increase of 6.5%. The owner of a median priced home in the city ($319,000) would see a $167 increase on the city portion of their annual property tax bill.

  • Frey proposed an $8 million increase to the Minneapolis Police Department budget, bringing it to $195 million. Council members voted to trim that by $1 million via cuts to civilian staffing, which drew pushback from new police chief Brian O'Hara.
  • The budget also includes a boost in spending on affordable housing.

What's ahead: The St. Paul City Council will vote on its budget on Wednesday. Minneapolis will hold a public hearing on its budget Tuesday at 6:05pm.

Go deeper: You can look up every city/county/school board's proposed property tax hikes on the Minnesota Department of Revenue page.

  • For example, St. Louis Park residents are facing a 27.2% increase for the schools portion and 7.9% for the city portion.

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