Ranking Reason For Concern
Minden’s high property taxes may be a deciding factor in its ability to attract new businesses and new residents according to a study by the Platte Institute.
The city of Minden ranks 46 out of 54 cities for the highest property taxes per-capita, said the October 13 news release by the Platte Institute For Economic Research.
The Platte Institute findings ranked all 54 cities in Nebraska with populations of at least 2,000 to determine which cities require the least contributions from tax payers to provide services and which are getting the most in revenue from their citizens on a per capita basis.
The cities were ranked in order of lowest property taxes to highest.
The study data used only the property taxes collected by city government and not other taxing authorities.
According to the research data, Minden collects $277 per resident in property taxes to provide services, which ranks Minden 46 out of 54 for cities requiring the most in revenue from its citizens on a per capita basis for services.
York ranked number one for the least amount of property taxes collected for services at $66 per person and the city of St. Paul topped the ranking at number 54 for the highest property taxes, collecting $323.
“Residents of Minden should be concerned about the rankings for several reasons,” said Berkeley Brown, Communications Director for Platte Institute, “the most important of which being the long-term viability of the community. It’s never a good idea to heavily tax something which is portable. Where someone lives is one of the most portable items there is. Minden’s population has decreased by six percent over the last decade while a comparable city like Gothenburg has a two percent increase in population over the same time frame. It’s reasonable that a big reason for that is the difference in tax burdens, a family of four will pay $560 more a year in Minden than it would in Gothenburg. Residents of Minden have to ask themselves why that is.”
Minden Mayor Roger Jones disagrees with the Platte Institute findings.
“According to the key findings in a 2007 study, Relocation to the Buffalo Commons Research Brief, done by the Center of Applied Rural Innovation at the University of Nebraska in Lincoln, only 13.2 percent of non-metropolitan residents said that high state and/or local taxes played a factor in their decision of where to live,” said Mayor Jones. “According to the study, the top rated reasons newcomers move to their current communities involve community quality of life amenities such as finding a simpler pace of life, finding a less congested place to live, being closer to relatives, seeking a decreased cost of living, the quality of the natural environment and the need to find a higher paying job. To say that the number of people that have moved out of Minden is directly related to property taxes can be viewed as an uneducated assumption.”
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