Making matters worse, a series of changes in state tax laws has meant that middle-class homeowners are paying a disproportionate share of the bill, McLaughlin adds. The nine counties most affected have put the issue at the top of the list of complaints they're taking to the Legislature this year. McLaughlin is optimistic, noting that Twin Cities-area reps Larry Pogemiller and Margaret Kelliher now head the Senate and the House, respectively. Both are Minneapolis DFLers and both have vowed to undo the cost shifts of recent years.
"It's like a perfect storm here. The people living in south Minneapolis and north Minneapolis in little bungalows are getting clobbered," says McLaughlin. "They [the state] got away with it in a crisis [because] most people are bewildered by the property tax system."