Response to 'Counterpoint'

  • Article by: D.J. TICE , Star Tribune
  • Updated: March 30, 2011 - 8:39 AM

Note: Star Tribune Commentary Editor D.J Tice responds to criticisms of his March 6 column by Rep. Rod Hamilton, R-Mountain Lake, and Rep. Kathy Sheran, DFL-Mankato.

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FrankLMar. 12, 11 2:45 PM

If you want lower property taxes move to a cheaper house. The whiners that I can not stand are the retirees who think that just because their income is less they should not have to downsize their lifestyle.

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ranger1873Mar. 12, 11 2:48 PM

"Frankly, though, that seems a little harsh. We’re all in this together." -- Really. I'm sure your governor, who wants to raise taxes on all those rich suburbanites, would agree. Outstate has an argument. For years we've watched our tax money go south to repair Twin Cities roads, fund Twin Cities-based schools and find Twin Cities-based jobs. That comes from having a succession of governors who think the State of Minnesota stops at St. Cloud. I don't have a highly-paid, Twin Cities job. I do have a decent job in the outstate with a property tax burden that, proportionally, is completely out of whack with the reduced services I receive. No ivory-tower Twin Cities editorialist can change that. And that, sir, is fact.

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crystalbeyMar. 13, 11 9:31 AM

FrankL - so when the government manipulates the housing market like they did by coercing banks to give loans to people that couldn't afford them and housing prices escalate which allows government to increase property taxes by 2-3 times the rate of inflation - you think I should just down size and get over it?

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editor25Mar. 13, 11 9:34 AM

This must be the first time EVER that I've seen the writer of an op-ed able to RESPOND to critics of his/her op-ed ON THE VERY DAY that those critics appear in the newspaper. I knew that Doug Tice writes like an authoritarian, now I know he manages like one too.

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crystalbeyMar. 13, 11 9:34 AM

FrankL - One more thing. Do you think it is a good thing when you have less money because of the government? Is it OK in your world for the government to force people to move by raising taxes? Who owns your home Frank? You or the Tax Man?

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crystalbeyMar. 13, 11 9:37 AM

ranger1873 - Somehow I don't think your out-state tax money is flowing into the large cities. Out-state cities take more state aid than they pay in. If it were not for the suburbs both the large cities and out-state areas would need to raise their own taxes for the services they demand.

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santasadlerMar. 13, 11 5:16 PM

I'm with you Doug. The Voss report shows the property tax system is broken statewide and needs urgent care. The ones who will suffer are homeowners all across the state especially low and middle income households. One of the key factors in tax systems in a democracy is a meaningful ability to pay component. There is none in the property tax system. Uninformed people think it is the market value of the property but studies have shown it is NOT. Property taxes are a tax on a homeowner liabilities as much as anything.

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gandalf48Mar. 13, 11 7:35 PM

ranger1873 - [For years we've watched our tax money go south to repair Twin Cities roads, fund Twin Cities-based schools and find Twin Cities-based jobs.] *** That is absolutely not true, LGA pays out much more to outstate Minnesota (per capita) than to the Twin Cities and surrounding suburbs. In fact, the suburbs receive almost no LGA what so ever, Minneapolis and St. Paul receive some but in realty they shouldn't get a dime. On top of that, look at the tax base for a relatively small area, those roads in the Twin Cities (and surrounding suburbs) are paid for by the suburbs/cities plus extra is sent outstate to pay for the tens of thousands of miles of roads in outstate Minnesota. Local schools are paid for mainly through property taxes, so once again we look at the property tax burden and the suburbs pay the most and on top of that they receive virtually no LGA. Please don't complain about outstate residents paying for anything in the twin cities, because the facts show quite the opposite...if you really felt that one group (suburbs/cities vs outstate MN) shouldn't be paying for the other why aren't you calling to have LGA eliminated?

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fear_mongerMar. 14, 1112:36 PM

Mr. Tice, this blows away your argument in an earlier op/ed that higher taxes will drive people away. They seem to be moving to the southwest suburbs DESPITE high taxes. My guess is that quality of life might have something to do with it. Reduce taxes, reduce the quality of life. I choose to pay higher taxes if I get a better quality of life in return. If you reduce taxes and reduce the quality of life, I'll move someplace warm.

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gandalf48Mar. 14, 11 1:06 PM

fear_monger - [They seem to be moving to the southwest suburbs DESPITE high taxes...Reduce taxes, reduce the quality of life. I choose to pay higher taxes if I get a better quality of life in return.] *** What you're saying is true, but you're missing the point of the article. The point is that we always hear justification for LGA is due to the fact that smaller, outstate communities have higher property tax burdens (as a % of income) than the suburbs. Using this property tax data we can now see that not only are the suburbs paying the highest property taxes but they also receive almost no LGA. I think people are willing to pay more in taxes if they actually get something useful in return (such as good schools, nice roads and good services) but people should draw the line when asked to make up for other communities lack of investment, for example the LGA program. As I said before the LGA funding should only be used by communities (who already have a high property tax burden) in need of the basic, essential services and shouldn't be considered part of their normal budget to fund the extras.

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