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Senator Hauschild Proposes New Replacement Aid Program for Greater Minnesota School Districts

Program would provide greater property tax fairness for residents while supporting students and schools.

[SAINT PAUL, MN] — Sena­tor Grant Hauschild (DFL-Her­mantown) presented legisla­tion in the Senate Education Finance Committee Tuesday to provide greater property tax fairness and relief for residents in school districts with heavy concentrations of seasonal or recreational property.

“Too many school districts across our state are struggling to cover basic costs and fund basic services because low­er-income residents are asked to pay for school operating levies while million-dollar cabins are not,” said Senator Hauschild. “This bill proposes a better way forward by creat­ing a new seasonal and recre­ation tax based replacement aid program, reducing the burden facing local residents as they consider local operating levies by as much as 50%. This can make a real difference for stu­dents and schools across Min­nesota.”

Senator Hauschild’s proposal, S.F. 4995, creates a new sea­sonal tax base replacement aid program for school districts where seasonal recreational properties (cabins) make up a large percentage of the prop­erty tax base but do not pay school levies. The bill would offset voter-approved operat­ing referendum levies in dis­tricts with seasonal recreational properties and reduce tax rates by as much as 50% in school districts with large amounts of seasonal recreational proper­ties.

The hearing on S.F. 4995 in­cluded testimony from Lake Superior School District Su­perintendent Jay Belcastro, St. Louis County Schools Finance Director Kim Johnson, Indus­trial Technology teacher from Lake Superior Public Schools Chris Belanger, and Cook County Schools teacher Chad Benesch.

The bipartisan legislation was passed and now moves to the Senate Taxes Committee.

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