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 over 314,000 households, 30 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.
Why improvements to the Renters' Credit are needed now
Across Minnesota rents are rising fast, and workers' wages aren't keeping up. Minnesota policymakers can help reduce the financial stresses facing Minnesota renters by boosting the size of the tax credit that struggling renters receive.
An expansion of the Renters' Credit would also be one step to respond to the severe hardship that so many Minnesotans have faced during the pandemic and economic downturn, including many of the essential workers that we all have counted on more than ever.
Apply for your Renters' Credit
Visit the Department of Revenue website to learn more about whether you qualify, how to apply, and where to find free tax preparation assistance.