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Open Forum: Property taxes are unfair

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opinion Brainerd, 56401
Brainerd MN 506 James St. / PO Box 974 56401

We need to pay for the services we need or want from the government. Two main ways of taxing for this are the income tax, and property taxes. Which is the most fair? If one tax is lowered, we have to raise the other to cover the expenses.

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With income tax, if I make a bundle, I’ll pay a lot in taxes. If I make little, I’ll pay little. If I’m unemployed, I won’t pay anything. This sounds fair and logical.

Property taxes remain the same, no matter how much money I’m making or have available, or even if I’m unemployed. Whether I’m pulling in $1,000,000 dollars a year, making little, or completely out of work, my taxes will be the same. This is not a fair way to tax ourselves.

But if income taxes are held steady, or even lowered as they have been time and again for the wealthy privileged (Bush tax cuts most recently, and again renewed by Obama), paying for services we need must be done through property tax increases. You pay one way, or another.

Tim Pawlenty and party Republicans continuously brag about not raising taxes. Is this really true? What we don’t raise in income taxes, our communities and schools have to raise in property taxes, the more unfair tax of the two.

I checked my property taxes for the last 10 years with the county auditor.

I have three tiny contiguous parcels of property (about 7 acres total). During the eight Pawlenty years, 2003 to 2010, my property taxes rose 213 percent on one piece, 320 percent on the second, and 1,226 percent on the third!

Mr. Pawlenty’s “no tax increase” thing didn’t work out so well for me. And during this period, my income decreased also, making it harder to pay the taxes.

A. Martin

Merrifield 

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