Property taxes low in Austin

Published 10:47 am Friday, December 5, 2008

Austinians have something to be thankful for this season: low property taxes.

Tax rates on homes in Austin are less expensive than nearly 77 percent of other communities in Greater Minnesota, an annual report shows.

The non-partisan organization Citizens League has released its 2008 Property Tax Review, which indicates how much property taxes increased or decreased on average value homes from 2007 to 2008 in 343 communities in Minnesota.

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“2008 Effective Tax Rates on Average Homes in 226 Greater Community Communities” (cities, townships and unorganized territories with populations of 2,000 or more) showed that Austin ranked lower than many comparably-sized cities in southern Minnesota.

According to the report, Austin ranked 174 out of 226 communities after state credits in effective tax rate (percent of a home’s market value paid in property taxes) at 0.871 percent. The city ranked 185 in 2007 at 0.829 percent.

The average market value home, $102,271, increased in value 2.7 percent from 2007.

Several regional cities ranked higher in tax rates: Albert Lea at 45; Mankato at 163; Owatonna at 72; and Winona at 115. Only one comparably-sized southern Minnesota city was lower than Austin — Faribault, at 186. Rochester, which is about four times the size of Austin, ranked 74.

Breaking property taxes down by level of government, Austin ranked 60 of 183 in school taxes ($392); 142 of 225 in city taxes ($327); 133 of 171 in county taxes ($421); and 32 of 123 ($31) in special district taxes.