The Truth about Truth in Taxation

January 19, 2017 at 1:16 pm

By Quinn Cheney, Director of Public Policy


As I discussed briefly in a recent blog post, a new Citizens League of Minnesota study, commissioned by NAIOP Minnesota, was released that the sheds light on budget transparency at the local government level, particularly the Truth in Taxation (TnT) system. Fundamentally, the TnT process, despite its good intentions, does not fully live up to its expectations and can work much better if local officials want it to.

The goal of TnT is to inform citizens on the relationship between local government budgeting and property taxes through written notification and encourage citizen engagement through public hearings. Yet the Citizens League found that TnT isn’t as effective as it could be since local budgets that drive the tax levies are determined before any tax notices are sent out.

So how can this be fixed? We believe that the local budget and tax process will function more smoothly if people are engaged in the process much earlier. Right now, many citizens get frustrated because they feel their input is ignored or has no impact. If engaged earlier, local governments and their constituencies will gain an improved consensus around the budget/tax process.

I invite you to see the report and its recommendations for yourself—you can view and download a PDF from our website here. Together, we can create a dialogue and spark more citizen engagement in this vital process. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me.

Entry filed under: Announcements, Featured Articles, Public Policy | Government Affairs.

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