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Protecting and strengthening Minnesota's Renters' Credit

The Minnesota Budget Project supports protecting and strengthening the Renters' Credit, which provides a property tax refund so that low- and moderate-income Minnesotans do not pay too high a share of their incomes in property taxes.

What happened in the 2019 Legislative Session?

Unfortunately, the final tax bill passed this session did not include the House's proposed expansion of the Renters' Credit, which would have increased the Renters' Credit by about $12 million for about 323,000 currently eligible households. It would have also increased the maximum income that a household can have and still qualify for the credit up to $75,000. Newly eligible renters would have seen an average refund of about $303, for a total increase of $10 million. Similar expansion ideas were considered this session as House File 2349 (Loeffler) / Senate File 2585 (Dziedzic).

The Renters' Credit will grow more slowly in future years because the final tax bill adopted chained CPI, a slower-growing measure, to make annual inflation adjustments across the tax code.

What's at stake?

Like all Minnesotans, Minnesota renters want safe, affordable homes for themselves and their families. But some Minnesotans earning low wages or on fixed incomes struggle to afford their rent and basic necessities.

The Renters' Credit provides a property tax refund to about 328,000 households, 28 percent of which include seniors or people living with severe disabilities. In parts of Greater Minnesota, an even higher share of those who receive the Renters' Credit are seniors or people living with disabilities. The Renters' Credit refunds a portion of the property taxes that renters have paid through their rents. You can learn more about who receives the Renters' Credit statewide and in each Minnesota county in our analysis, Who Receives the Renters' Credit?

Strengthening the Renters' Credit would also advance racial equity. In Minnesota, people of color are much more likely to be renters and more likely to be earning lower incomes. But disparities in homeownership also exist when comparing whites and people of color of similar incomes, reflecting current barriers to wealth building and a history of policies that excluded African Americans and other people of color from homeownership. Learn more in Voices for Racial Justice's blog series, Protecting the Renters' Credit is a Racial Justice issue.

Minnesotans report that when they receive their Renters' Credits, they use it to buy medicine or school clothes for their children, to catch up on bills, or for other basic needs. This spending in turn boosts our local economies.

Apply for your Renters' Credit

The deadline to file for your Renters' Credit is August 15. Visit the Department of Revenue website to learn more about whether you qualify and how to apply. 

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