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Committee seeks property tax cut ideas

ST. PAUL - Minnesotans who think they can cure the state's case of continually increasing property taxes have an outlet for those thoughts.

"We want ideas and solutions," said Rep. Paul Marquart, chairman of a House property taxes committee.

The Dilworth Democrat on Monday announced his office will accept telephone calls and Internet messages from Minnesotans telling their opinions about property taxes.

"Straight from the kitchen table to the committee table," Marquart said of the ideas he seeks.

Legislative leaders this year put reducing property taxes near the top of their priority lists, and set up House and Senate committees to deal with the property tax issue. Marquart has been an outspoken proponent of property tax reform, especially in rural Minnesota.

Marquart said he hopes to compile a citizens' tax bill out of some ideas that come into the comment line. Those ideas could become part of whatever eventually comes out of this year's Legislature.

Chairwoman Ann Lenczewski, DFL-Bloomington, of the House Taxes Committee said that while all legislators heard about property tax problems during their recent campaigns, now they need to figure out how to cut property taxes across the state.

"You have to swing for the whole state," she said. "We have to give relief to everyone."

Rep. Sarah Anderson, R-Plymouth, joined her Democratic-Farmer-Labor colleagues in asking for public comments.

"We don't have the corner on the market as far as property tax expertise goes," she said.

To contact the House property taxes committee with suggestions about how to keep Minnesota property taxes in check, call (800) 551-5520 or go to

Don Davis
Don Davis has been the Forum Communications Minnesota Capitol Bureau chief since 2001, covering state government and politics for two dozen newspapers in the state. Don also blogs at Capital Chatter on Areavoices.