***UPDATE 2/9/12: The Minnesota State Legislature is again considering drastic cuts to the renters credit with a proposal that would affect hundreds of thousands low-income seniors and families across Minnesota. The House Tax committee will be hearing a bill at 10:15am on Tuesday, Feb. 14th that would reduce the percent of rent paid that the credit is based on from 17% to 15%. This would affect credits applied for THIS YEAR. Just last year the credit was cut from 19% to 17%. Call your state legislators to ask them not to balance the state budget on the backs of low-income renters, and call Governor Dayton (651-201-3400) to ask for his support in protecting the renters credit.
The Minnesota renter’s credit/refund is a state property tax refund for tenants. This refund assists renters with the tax burden they pay directly to their landlord because of the property taxes imposed on rental housing.
Landlords were required to provide Certificate Rent Paid (CRP) forms to tenants no later than this past Tuesday, January 31, 2012. If you rented at any point in 2011 and have not received a CRP from your landlord, you should make another attempt to request the CRP form (for example, write a letter to the landlord). If the landlord fails to provide a CRP by March 1st, you can contact the Minnesota Department of Revenue to request a Rent Paid Affidavit, which will allow you to submit your information and a request for your refund. If you have questions about how to apply for the refund, call the Department of Revenue tax help line: 651-296-3781 (metro) or 1-800-652-9094 (elsewhere in Minnesota).
The renter’s credit is a constant target of cuts by the Minnesota Legislature. Last year, tenants spoke up to protect the credit renters received in August 2011, as well as to fight back cuts to the 2012 credit. Instead of seeing drastic cuts (one bill proposed to slash it by 46%!), the legislature approved a 13% reduction in the credit for refunds in 2012. According to the Minnesota Budget Project, an estimated 297,000 Minnesota households will lose an average of $87 because of this cut, and about 7,300 Minnesota households will lose their entire credit.
Join tenants, advocates, and HOME Line to ensure the legislature protects the future of the renter’s credit by returning it to a more equitable rate. Contact Tracey (612-728-5770 x108) or Eric (612-728-5770 x119) to learn how to help.