Local government units have been hitting the books, talking budgets and setting proposed tax levies. 

These proposed/preliminary levies are still subject to change as boards and councils continue to refine their budgets and hear comments from constituents. 

The final levy can be less than the proposed levy, but not more. 

What is a levy?

Property taxes are based on levies set by local governments (a.k.a. “taxing units”) and the value and classification of a property.  Local taxing units can include your county, township, school district and city or town. 

These local governments use property taxes to help pay for things like libraries, schools, roads, fire protection, police, public health, parks and other services. 

Typically, each property is taxed by several taxing units. For example, each property in Kanabec County is taxed by the county, a school district and a city or township.

Every September, each government unit reviews budgets and determines how much money they must levy from taxpayers to fund those budgets. 

Governments must first set a preliminary or proposed levy. This is used to estimate next year’s property taxes for each jurisdiction’s property owners. 

Final levies are approved before Dec. 31 and can be less than the preliminary levy, but not more. 

These levies determine (in part) how much property owners pay in property taxes in the year 2021.

Once a local government sets a property tax levy, it must be divided among that government’s total tax capacity (i.e. the total value of all the properties based on their market value and class rates).

Many factors affect a property tax bill. Determining how much each property owner owes and their role in it can be broken down into four stages detailed at right.

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