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Letters to the Editor (Independent News Herald)

To the Editor:

Millions of people’s lives are impacted by crime every year. Victimization and its aftermath may be one of the most difficult periods in a person’s life—and victims’ families, friends and communities often face their own challenges as well.

Since 1981, National Crime Victims’ Rights Week has been celebrated every year in April. Prior to this date, crime victims had no rights, access to crime victim compensation or services to help rebuild their lives. They were often excluded from courtrooms, treated as an afterthought by the criminal justice system, and denied an opportunity to speak at sentencing.

Yet through decades of advocacy and hard work, we have come a long way. Today, all states have enacted crime victims’ rights laws and established crime victim compensation funds.

National Crime Victims’ Rights Week (April 23-29) honors and celebrates the achievements made since 1981 in securing rights, protections, and services for victims and their families.

This year’s theme—Survivor Voices: Elevate. Engage. Effect Change—calls upon communities to amplify the voices of survivors and commit to creating an environment where survivors have the confidence that they will be heard, believed, and supported.

If you are a victim of crime or would like additional information regarding victim rights, please contact Hands of Hope Resource Center at 320-732-2319.

Barb Dinkel Goodrich

Lead Advocate

Hands of Hope Resource Center

Todd County

To the Editor:

Hello fellow Clarissa city residents.

It is that time of year again when property tax statements will be mailed out. I wanted to take this opportunity to remind everyone of the Minnesota Property Tax Refund for which some residents may qualify.

The MN property tax refund has two parts to it. One of these is the Special Property Tax refund for homeowners that see a drastic increase in their property taxes from one year to the next. The second is the regular property tax refund. Keep in mind that to potentially qualify for either one of these refunds, your house must be classified as a homestead by the Todd County assessor’s office.

To apply for either one, you will need your 2022 income taxes and your 2023 Property Tax Statement, which you have received or should receive in the next few weeks.

Some income tax preparers might file for this refund from the state for you already or they might look each year to see if you qualify.

Homeowners can also go to for information and how to apply for the refunds. Many homeowners can fill out the application themselves. Please keep in mind that this refund is from the state of Minnesota. The deadline to file the refund is August 15, 2023.

The Special Property Tax refund is designed for homeowners when their property taxes go up more than 12% from one year to the next. This refund is not dependent on your income, so all residents could apply.

Typically homeowners might qualify for this refund in years where there is a large school referendum. It can also happen in years when your Taxable Market Value increases significantly.

For some Clarissa residents, this happens this year. Some of you may have seen increases in the range of 40%-60%.

In November of 2022, Todd County sent every property owner a Truth In Taxation Notice. On that notice it will have a percentage increase. If you are one of the residents that saw an increase of around 40%-60%, you will want to look into this refund after you get your tax statement. The actual percentage your taxes go up will help determine if you qualify.

The amount a homeowner can get back in the form of a refund is 60% of the amount your taxes went up by more than 12%.

Here is an example to help you figure out if you might qualify. If your 2022 property taxes were $2,000 and your 2023 property taxes are $2,600 that is a 30% increase. To calculate how much you could get back, take $2,000 x 12% = $240. Then take $2,600 - $2,000 - $240 = $360. Then take the $360 x 60% = $216. If you are not sure what values to calculate for your own property, please see the website mentioned above as there will be a worksheet that you can use to calculate your own refund.

The regular Property Tax Refund is based on your income and family size. It is intended to help homeowners when their property taxes are more than about 2% of their adjusted income. Typically recipients of this refund are those who are retired and living on a fixed income or young families early in their careers. However, there are many situations out there for those that might qualify.

The amount of the refund is on a sliding scale—meaning the higher your property taxes are in relationship to your income, the bigger your refund could be.

Both refunds are filed using the form M1PR from the state. This has a lot more information included than I could put in this letter to the editor.

Again, you can ask your income tax preparer to see if you qualify and file these forms for you. Or you can go to the website listed above and find out more information and maybe file the form yourself.

Mike Cebulla




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