Supermajority States See Higher Property Tax Increases

St. Paul, Minnesota, February 8, 2012 - States with strict supermajority requirements to raise taxes saw much higher property tax increases than states without those requirements over the last decade, according to a Minnesota Budget Project analysis released today.

The report compared average property tax increases in states without supermajority requirements to property tax increases in the nine states that have constitutional requirements similar to the supermajority proposal under consideration in Minnesota.

States with strict supermajority requirements saw total property taxes rise by an average of 22 percent, after adjusting for inflation, between 2000 and 2009. Property taxes in states without any supermajority requirements for tax increases rose by just 13 percent.

“Supermajority requirements make it more likely that policymakers will turn to ways to fund critical public services that only require a simple majority vote, such as cutting funding to cities, counties and school districts; or shifting the responsibility for funding services to the local level,” said Minnesota Budget Project Director Nan Madden. “Supermajority requirements come with a promise of holding down taxes. But the more likely result is increased pressure to raise property taxes. Policymakers should make tax and budget decisions directly, not through rigid formulas in the constitution that create unintended consequences.”

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The Minnesota Budget Project, an initiative of the Minnesota Council of Nonprofits, provides independent research, analysis and advocacy on budget and tax issues, emphasizing their impact on low- and moderate-income Minnesotans.

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