The Politics of Property Taxes: Tax Hikes Spur Local Business Owner to Run for Office

Guest Post By Abbie Burgess

An issue affecting real estate right now is property taxes. In Hennepin County, property taxes have climbed at a rate much faster than the rise of the median household income. Taxes rise while property values fall, burdening home owners as well as business owners.

Property taxes and spending in Hennepin County have increased for decades at about twice the rate of inflation and income growth.  Even over the last four years with foreclosures at record levels and incomes declining, property taxes and spending are still going up.

In Excelsior, small business owner and engineer Dave Wahlstedt decided to run for office partially because of the property tax situation in Hennepin County. For ten years, Wahlstedt and his wife, Gretchen, have owned and operated the Bird House Inn & Gardens in downtown Excelsior. Pinned under the weight of high property tax on their Bed and Breakfast, Wahlstedt is trying to enact change.

If Wahlstedt wins the race for Hennepin County Commissioner in District 6, he will join the County Board of seven commissioners who control a 1.65 billion dollar budget and vote on changes to property taxes. Wahlstedt plans to use the budget more effectively to curb property tax increases.

“We need to reverse the trend of rising property taxes by gradually lowering budgets while still doing all our most critical functions well,” Wahlstedt said.

Whether or not you intend to vote in the non-partisan Hennepin County Commissioner District 6 race, paying attention to how a politician’s plans affect property taxes is one way to keep costs manageable for home owners.

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Realtor. Twin Cities Area specializing in New Construction, Development and Investment Properties.