COLUMBUS – Senators Bob Krist and Lynne Walz sat down with Columbus residents Tuesday night to discuss property taxes.
The roundtable discussion was held at First United Methodist Outreach Center and highlighted property tax rates across the state. Other topics being discussed included prison overcrowding and education funding.
The discussion comes at a time when soaring property tax rates across the state are crippling both city dwellers and ranchers alike. Krist argues that property taxes have risen on average 57% while household income grew at only 21% in that same time frame. He also says that as the state has cut back on their share of funding for public education in an attempt to balance the budget, property taxes have been used to make up the difference.
Krist went on to say that there are some counties in the state where the average rate increase has spiked to 147%. Some individual homeowner and landowners have seen even greater tax rates with no end in sight. While the state used to contribute 20% of property tax revenues to help education funding, that figure is now less than 3%.