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One Moment, Please... Taxes are boring, but real


Fri, Nov 2nd, 2012
Posted in All Commentary

I hear it all the time.

People complain about taxes, but yet never really know where there money is going. People don’t like talking about taxes. It’s right up their with politics and religion, and sometimes even involves those two dynamics. Thankfully, we have accountants, right?!

For those of us who can stand to turn the other cheek, this ones for you.

Today, all of the Journal readers in Fillmore County get a chance to see how our tax dollars are spent.

The Fillmore County government publishes an annual financial statement each year with information from the previous year. This audit helps all of us understand the big picture down to the penny.

City, county, state and federal governments are required to adhere to various levels of transparency.

Our Democracy demands transparency, and this document is a product of that.

What’s interesting to me is that there is a website www.tax-rate.org. Specifically, if you visit http://www.tax-rates.org/minnesota/property-tax, you can compare property taxes from all adjoining counties.

Let’s compare our median propery taxes by county in our region. The Median Property Tax means that half of the homes in the county pay higher taxes, and half pay lower.

First, Fillmore County boasts $1,217 as the median property tax.

Comparatively speaking, Olmsted County is at $1,891. Mower County is at $948. Houston County is at $1,419. And, Winona County is at $1,502.

There are a lot of variables involved in tax assessment, but ultimately it all boils down to sustaining government spending.

And, there’s a plethora of other tax-related information on the website www.tax-rates.org. It’s perfect for those spreadsheet number junkies.

For those of you who are actively curious about government spending, take a look at the 2011 Financial Statement published in today’s Journal.

I think everyone will agree that more informed citizens make better decisions -- together.

And, when in doubt, ask questions.

Go to meetings. Make your own assessments and voice your concerns.

Heck, maybe you’ll even want to run for office.

I don’t believe it is a glorious job to serve the public, but a very necessary one.

With that said, don’t forget to vote on Tuesday.

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