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Issues, Taxation Without Representation

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Advertisement in National Republican,
Washington DC, 20 January 1880

Minnesota Statute  473.249, subdivision 1(a), states expressly that "Metropolitan Council may levy a tax on all taxable property" in district 56A. As required by  473.13, subdivision 2, the auditor of Washington County would levy this limited general purpose tax, and the treasurer is required to collect it and give it to the Metropolitan Council. If a county fails to pay, the Metropolitan Council may charge interest at a rate of 6% until the debt is paid ( 473.521, subd. 4). As stated by  473.123, subdivision 3(a), the Metropolitan Council is an unelected body.

And, that's not all. This unelected body may levy additional tax to pay for loans made to purchase land (Minn. Stat.  473.167, subd. 3), for the payment of bonds it issues ( 473.197, subd. 4; and  473.325, subd. 2), and for other debts it may have ( 473.466, subd. 1). In addition,  473.547 gives power to the Metropolitan Council to levy taxes for the metropolitan disposal system "without limitation of rate or amount." This is not a small issue. According to the United States Census Bureau, the counties over which the Metropolitan Council has jurisdiction consist of over 54% of Minnesota's population. In other words, over half of all Minnesotans are taxed without direct representation!

To see where your property tax goes, visit the Property Tax Information Page provided by the Washington County Property Records And Taxpayer Services Department. Simply enter your property address (or parcel identification number), press the "Search" button, and click on your name/address. When your property record appears, click on the "Tax Detail" tab. In the far left column, you will find the taxing authorities and the amount you owe them in the second column.

Tell us how you feel about an unelected body having authority to levy tax on district 56A.


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