Sandra Masin: Representative Minnesota House District 52A
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This article was originally posted on 07-14-2010
Property Tax Refunds and Lifeline and Link-Up programs.

July 14, 2010

Dear Neighbors,

I am sending you some information about property tax refunds and the Lifeline, Link-Up programs that provide discounts on basic residential telephone service to low-income consumers.

Please continue to contact me with your questions, suggestions and ideas. I always appreciate your input.

Sincerely,

Sandy Masin
State Representative Sandra Masin
House District 38A


Property Tax Refunds

Every year, thousands of Minnesotans who are eligible for property tax relief donít take advantage of it. As your legislator, Iím committed to ensuring that all of the people in our district who deserve refunds for their property taxes receive them. Please look over these requirements to see if you qualify, and apply for the refund if you do. This is your money; make sure you get it back!

Minnesotans are often eligible for two different property tax refunds.

The first is Homeowner and Renter Property Tax Refund Programs (also called Circutbreaker.) To be eligible for this program you must be a homeowner and have a household income of less than $98, 290 or are a renter and have a household income of less than $53,030. Higher income limits apply if you have dependents or if you are a senior citizen or disabled. Your refund will depend on how high your property taxes or rent are relative to your income. The maximum refund for homeowners is $2,350, and the maximum refund for renters is $1,510.

The other type of property tax refund that many Minnesotans are eligible for is the Special Property Tax Refund (also called Targeting.) You may be eligible for this refund if you are a homeowner, you owned your home on both January 2, 2009 and January 2, 2010 and the net property tax on your homestead increased by more than 12% and at least $100 from 2009 to 2010. The increase cannot be due to improvements to your home. This refund does not depend on your income.

You must also meet the following criteria to receive these refunds:
  • You must be a full-year or part-year Minnesota Resident,
  • you cannot be a dependent,
  • if you are a homeowner, your property must be your homestead,
  • if you are a renter, you must live in a building on which property taxes are paid and relative homesteads do not qualify.
To apply for these refunds, please fill out the 2009 form M1PR claims by August 15, 2010. This form is available at public libraries and at other locations where state tax forms are distributed. It can also be found at the Minnesota Department of Revenue website at: www.taxes.state.mn.us/taxes/prop_refund/forms/m1pr.pdf

In addition to these refunds, those 65 and older who own property are eligible for the Senior Citizens Property Tax Deferral Program. This program allows property taxpayers who are 65 years or older to defer a portion of their homestead property taxes until a later time. In this program, the taxpayer pays only 3% of the preceding yearís household income as property tax, and the rest of the property tax is deferred. Taxpayers are still allowed to file for property tax refund and any other property refunds the state may offer, however the amount of any refunds will be applied to the deferred property tax amount. Applications for the program are available in the county auditorís office or may be obtained from the Minnesota Department of Revenue website at: www.taxes.state.mn.us/taxes/property/forms/crscd.pdf

If you have any additional questions you can call contact the Department of Revenue at: (651) 296-3781. You can also check the status of your refund by calling: (651) 296-4444 or visit: www.taxes.state.mn.us/wm/servlets/TaxReturnServlets and click on Where is My Property Tax Refund?

National Lifeline and Link-Up Telephone Discount Awareness Week

September 13-17, 2010

Lifeline and Link-Up are programs that provide discounts on basic residential telephone service to low-income consumers. It is important in these difficult financial times to get the word out about assistance that is available to help people stay afloat. At least half of eligible consumers nationwide do not take advantage of these telephone discounts.

Lifeline involves discounts on the monthly charges, and Link-Up involves a discount on the cost of initiating telephone service. The discount is available for a primary residential telephone, even some wireless phones. The basic federal Lifeline discount is as much as $10 per month, and Minnesota provides an additional discount over and above that.

Find out about the Minnesota Telephone Service Discount Programs!

There are three programs with one simple application for all three:

LINK-UP: A federally-funded discount on telephone installation charges

LIFELINE: A federally-funded discount on your monthly bill

TELEPHONE ASSISTANCE PLAN (TAP): A Minnesota-funded discount on your monthly bill

To qualify for these programs:
  1. Telephone service must be in your name
  2. You must participate in at least one of the qualifying public assistance programs
    OR
    Your income must be at or below 135% of the federal poverty guidelines
For an application or more information:

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