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Letter: Lobby state leaders to change tax system

We were just finalizing our personal financial records for 2012 and preparing for 2013 and relooked at our Eagle Lake property tax vs. property value and did a five-year review. The property value rose sharply in 2008, 2009 and 2010 but then went down in 2011, 2012 and 2013. However, our property tax has consistently risen. Since 2009 our property tax has risen about 35 percent and our property value is presently 5 percent below the 2009 valuation.

We are seasonal property owners in Park Rapids and have been since 1962. We spend about 4 months a year in Park Rapids and in that time we clearly support the local economy. But it is becoming more and more expensive for us based on the state and local tax structure. Now that we are no longer residents of Minnesota, it is impossible for us to get any response from state legislators, so we are appealing to local residents to do it for us, as well as other seasonal property owners. Seasonal property owners bring a great deal of money into the area with very little value in services in return, other than it is part of family heritage. We would hate to have to give up our cabin because we are being taxed out. It seems unfair that our children and grandchildren may not be able to enjoy the cabin that they knew while they were growing up.

It is our understanding that Minnesota will have a projected $800 million surplus in 2013; it seems appropriate this would be a golden opportunity to do an overhaul of the state and local fiscal system.

As prior Minnesota residents for nearly 70 years, we would hope Minnesota still has leadership that can work to solve the budget woes in a way that does not just continue to raise revenue through higher and higher property tax.

Ronald and Margaret Berg

Broomfield, Colo.