To the Editor:
Often times the state legislature and city/county governments have conflicting goals and obligations to their constituents. The legislature has to balance their budget, which is sometimes accomplished by passing tax burdens to local government entities.
One prime example is the market value exclusion. While metro cities with vast industrial property didn’t feel the difference, it is a completely different story for the cities within Chisago County and the county itself. We have more residential than commercial/industrial. The resulting reduction of home values transferred a greater tax burden to every business in our community. Just in the City of North Branch, taxes for a commercial property valued at $400,000 rose an additional 9.4 percent, which can be directly attributable to the MVE! Even though Rep. Bob Barrett received a letter from the North Branch City Council, he has yet, to my knowledge, publicly admit that the market value exclusion was just plain wrong for our community. Rep. Barrett’s solution to eliminate the commercial state property tax will be welcomed by businesses. On the other hand, that action does nothing to lower local commercial property taxes, which will continue to be higher as long as the MVE is in effect.
That’s why I was glad to hear Rick Olseen say at the candidate forum that one of his priorities will be to repeal the MVE. As a former school board member and county commissioner, he has experienced being on the losing end of our legislature’s ideas that increase local taxes. Rick understands that the state, cities and counties need to work together. Instead of the state passing the buck (literally), he will work to find solutions that benefit our state as well as our local governments. Rick’s local office experience will greatly benefit the people of Chisago County as our next state representative.
Kathy Blomquist, North Branch