Don’t forget about property tax refunds

Published 3:20 pm Saturday, April 10, 2010

As many of us are in the middle of filing our 2009 income taxes, it’s important to remember an often-overlooked task. Many homeowners and renters may qualify for a property tax refund, but you must fill out a separate form, after your standard income tax returns have been filed, in order to apply for the refund.

Property tax refunds are based on your household income and the property taxes paid on your principal place of residence. As a homeowner, you may be eligible for either the regular property tax refund or the special property tax refund if you owned and lived in your home on Jan. 4, 2010.

For the regular property tax refund, your total household income for 2009 must be less than $98,290 and the maximum available refund is $2,350. The income eligibility limits do increase if you have dependents in your household, to $120,190 with five or more dependents. The refund you are eligible to receive depends on the ratio of income to total property taxes paid.

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The special property tax refund is not based on income. Instead, the net property tax on your homestead must have increased by more than 12 percent from 2009 to 2010 — not due to improvements on the home — and the increase must be at least $100. The maximum refund is $1,000.

To receive a renter’s property tax refund, your total household income for 2009 must be less than $53,030 and the maximum available refund is $1,510. Again, that income limit increases with dependents, up to $74,930 for households with five or more dependents. Renters’ refunds are based on a percentage of total rent paid throughout the year and you must have received a certificate of rent paid (CRP) form from your landlord. Those were due to renters by Jan. 31 so if you have not yet received yours, you should check with your landlord.

Seniors and disabled persons living in non-tax-exempt nursing home or health care facilities who are not solely paying for their rooms with medical assistance or other supplemental assistance funding may also qualify for renters’ refunds.

To apply for all of these refunds, Minnesotans must file a Form M1PR. This form is separate from your regular income tax returns and is available either on the Department of Revenue’s Web site or at local libraries and other facilities that distribute tax information. The due date for 2009 property tax refund applications is Aug. 16, 2010, but applications will be accepted through Aug. 15, 2011.

The due date for the 2008 property tax return was August 17, 2009, but you have until August 16, 2010 to file for a refund. Typically, you can expect your refund within 60 to 90 days.

Finally, I also would like to remind disabled veterans of a special property tax exemption that is available to them. Applications to receive this exemption are due by July 1, so it is worthwhile to talk to your County Assessor now about applying if you believe you may qualify. You may be eligible for a market value exclusion of up to $300,000 if you are a United States military veteran with total (100 percent) and permanent service-connected disability. If you are not totally and permanently disabled but have disability of 70 percent or more, then you may qualify for $150,000 market value exclusion. Applications are filed with county assessors, and application materials may be obtained there or on the state’s Web site.

All application forms and additional information are available at or by calling the Department of Revenue at (800) 652-9094.

As always, please feel free to contact me at (651) 296-9248;; or 317 State Capitol, St. Paul, MN 55155.

Dan Sparks, DFL-Austin, is the state senator for District 27.