St. Paul property taxes: Dayton’s Bluff could see major hike as values hold steady for wealthier neighborhoods, commercial properties

Dayton's Bluff will far and away lead St. Paul neighborhoods in terms of value increases, though other East Side communities are also gaining value at above-average rates.

St. Paul property taxes: Dayton’s Bluff could see major hike as values hold steady for wealthier neighborhoods, commercial properties

Single-family homes are gaining value throughout St. Paul, but they aren’t gaining value evenly. For homeowners in Dayton’s Bluff, that could translate into a $472 tax increase next year.

Here’s why. In Dayton’s Bluff, a median-value home carried an estimated market value of $152,400 last year. This year, the same home carries an estimated market value of $177,500, according to the Ramsey County assessor’s office. That’s a value increase of 16.5 percent, or nearly triple the citywide average.

Dayton’s Bluff will far and away lead St. Paul neighborhoods in terms of value increases, though other East Side communities such as Payne-Phalen and the Greater East Side are also gaining value at above-average rates.

If all the property values within the city limits combined together constituted a pie, those neighborhoods now form a larger share of the pie than they did previously, and they’ll be taxed accordingly.

“From ’08, back when the market completely crashed, home values crashed everywhere, including Highland and Mac-Groveland,” said St. Paul City Council Member Chris Tolbert, who represents two neighborhoods that will likely be spared the brunt of tax changes next year.

“Their property taxes increased because their values stayed more stable,” Tolbert explained. “As the East Side has rebounded, and their values have started to grow, that could be a substantial increase. When I finally saw East Side houses going for $200,000, I was going ‘this is good for Highland and Mac-Groveland.’ People will complain because their taxes are growing, but it means their property is a lot more valuable, too.”

TAX LEVY HIKE OF 6.9 PERCENT

St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter’s budget proposal has called for an increase to the citywide tax levy of 6.9 percent, but not every neighborhood will absorb that increase the same way. Ramsey County has proposed a tax levy increase of 1.5 percent, on top of a new county Housing and Redevelopment Authority levy.

Taken together alongside St. Paul Public Schools and other taxing districts, the owner of a median-value St. Paul home ($228,700) can expect to pay an additional $258 or so next year.

In Dayton’s Bluff, where home values are climbing by about $25,000, the difference will be nearly double.

Ramsey County Auditor-Treasurer Heather Bestler and County Assessor Luis Rosario recently delivered a presentation on tax trends to the Ramsey County board, and will repeat the presentation to the St. Paul City Council on Sept. 1.

SPECIAL PROPERTY TAX REFUND

To offset some of the burden, St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter has proposed a $600,000 program to assist low-income homeowners. Ramsey County directs homeowners to look into the state’s “special property tax refund” (revenue.state.mn.us/filing-property-tax-refund) targeted to homeowners facing tax increases of more than 12 percent and more than $100.

They can also call the Department of Revenue at 1-800-652-9094.

Overall, estimated market values for median-value homes in St. Paul are climbing from $215,700 to $228,700, an increase of 6 percent. Neighborhoods such as Frogtown (5.9 percent), the West Side (5.2 percent) and Hamline-Midway (4.9 percent) are gaining value just below that average.

Values in St. Anthony Park actually went down 0.3 percent, dropping from $390,800 to $389,800, according to the county assessor’s office.

Value increases in downtown, Merriam Park, Highland, Como and Macalester-Groveland were under 2 percent, according to Ramsey County. For many single-family homes there, changes to property taxes will be relatively moderate, or even marginal.

HEAVILY INFLUENCED BY RECENT SALES

To illustrate the point, county officials used the example of a home in the 700 block of Summit Avenue, which next year might pay an extra $87. A home in the 2900 block of Princeton Avenue, just off Mississippi River Boulevard, might pay an extra $4.

For individual properties, the county’s value estimates are heavily influenced by recent comparable sales and physical changes such as new additions.

Citywide, residential values have gained 4 percent in assessed value, apartment complexes gained 4.7 percent and industrial properties gained almost 11 percent.

Commercial properties, on the other hand, lost .8 percent in assessed value, with some variation by property type. Largely as a result, U.S. Bank Place on 5th Street will likely pay $878,000 in property taxes next year, down from $916,000 in 2021, a savings of $38,000, or 4 percent. Mama’s Pizza in St. Paul’s North End would pay $6,387 next year, an increase of $216, or 3.5 percent.