Excess Operating Levies

Excess Operating Levies

In 2001, MSRPO was able to remove Seasonal property from Excess Operating Levies

Seasonal Owners typically cannot vote for referendum in places where their property is located. This is clearly "taxation without representation," and it had predictable results.

In the late 1990s, an editorial appeared prior to a levy referendum that pointed out that since seasonal property made up about 65% of the tax base, voters could approve the levy and not have to pay for it.

In over 250 taxing districts seasonal property makes up more than 50% of the tax base.

Excess operating levies are just that - excess levies designed to back-fill unexpected operating shortfalls. Seasonal owners pay school taxes - in fact they pay more per dollar of value than homes in the same district. They pay all capital improvement levies.

In 2001, the excess operating levies were very small. Our victory in being taken off of them was mostly symbolic. But since then, as the state has made routine cuts to education and Local Government Aid, school districts have come to rely ever more heavily on Excess Operating Levies to meet basic educational needs. Last election more than $20 million in excess operating levies passed statewide. If seasonal property had been included, the amount certainly would have been higher.

In 2010, with deficits projected into the future, some legislators and the Association of School Boards are pushing to get seasonal property back on excess operating levies.

MSRPO believes that education should be completely funded without school districts having to go out to the voters to make ends meet. Every child in Minnesota is entitled to a first class education - we simply cannot afford to do otherwise.