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A Matter of Perspective

I attended the 2022 increased property values meeting.

It was another meeting where citizens bring their concerns and legislators and commissioners listen and make no plan or promise.

I remember a few years ago after one of these types of meetings when Commissioner Randy Neumann asked that the last person to leave the county make sure to turn off the light.

That was sort of the consensus after this meeting. Over 220 people attended the meeting and the frustration level was high.

It was hard to report on because nearly everyone who addressed the commissioners or legislators (who attended by Zoom) expressed the same sentiments that I was feeling, too. “We are tired of our voices going unheard. We are tired of no promises or broken ones. We are getting taxed out of our homes.”

In my humble opinion, it is time to throw the tea into the harbor!

The problem is, we have worked hard for our homes and our land and we don’t want to throw it all away. We can’t dump the “tea” because we don’t want to lose everything.

At the same time, with rising values and inevitably rising taxes, we will lose everything because our incomes don’t increase as fast as property taxes.

It comes down to that age-old question, “Do we eat or do we pay our taxes?”

The frustration is real and our government officials know it is. Many of them feel it, too.

It is hard to make promises in a world of unknowns.

Still, what many of the citizens wanted to hear is that they were being HEARD.

Being heard and seen is important to people. Having our concerns heard and addressed is important. Explaining how the process works every year—especially when the process has not changed in many years—feels like a pointless exercise in futility. People don’t care how we get there. They want to know how to lower the final tax burden on them.

The whole system is messed up. It is messed up because a change that could potentially help rural Minnesota could actually end up doing more harm than good.

With inflation, increased property values, and potentially increased taxes, citizens are feeling the bite and all the teeth of the mouth that is biting them.

Change has to come. I don’t have an answer. I just have more angst to add to the fire.



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