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Monday, May 02, 2005

Cuts to renters' credit

I'm a renter, and I have been a renter for quite some time. I've lived in a lot of places, some good, some literally drug houses (which is all too often the state of student housing around the University of Minnesota). There are a lot of people who like me choose to rent due to school, job choices, or just the freedom that it affords.

I'm sick of betting treated like second-class citizens simply because I'm a renter. For years, renters had to pay more in property taxes since apartment buildings were in a higher-taxed class. While some improvements have been made on this front, the governor and House Republicans are once again looking to screw renters by reducing the renters' credit, as well as exempting tenants from reverse property tax referenda. While the latter idea isn't going anywhere, the former might.

The renter's credit is the analog to homeowners' property tax refund. However, while homeowners can make up to $85,000 and still qualify for a partial refund of property taxes paid, the cutoff for renters is only $46,000. Why this credit is tilted against renters is beyond me. Homeowners already get preferential tax treatment that renters don't get, like the ability to deduct mortgage interest from their income taxes; this is just gravy. And House Republicans want to make it even more unfair.

Renters pay their taxes and vote like everybody else. There is no stigma in renting. It's time to stop treating renters like forgotten citizens.


At 1:50 PM, May 04, 2005, Blogger DP said...

It seems to me this is quite clearly a tax hike for renters. Doesn't that go against the gov's pledge? Will anybody point that out?

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