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Minn. House GOP plans push for property tax relief

ST. PAUL - Minnesotans whose taxes are soaring would get a larger property tax refund under a bill House Republicans will push in next year's legislative session.

"This is a top-tier priority for our caucus," Chairman Greg Davids, R-Preston, of the House Taxes Committee said Monday in announcing his bill to increase property tax refunds for homeowners whose property tax bills soar.

The Davids plan also would cut $411.85 from every business property tax bill.

Democrats question the timing of the $80 million proposal since it came days before Minnesotans begin to receive their "truth in taxation" notices that in many cases will show large property tax increases from local governments that tried to make up for a $260 million cut in state payments to them earlier this year.

To the top House Democrat on property tax issues, the news conference was "a preemptive strike" before Minnesotans are shocked by their tax increases. Rep. Paul Marquart, DFL-Dilworth, that Republicans missed their chance to reduce property taxes earlier this year, but with changes they made taxes actually are rising.

Davids would not say how the Legislature would fund the $80 million program other than cutting spending. Finding those cuts could be difficult, especially given that Davids said he understands the state budget could face up to a $750 million deficit when a new fiscal report is issued Dec. 1.