ST. PAUL — Minnesota’s local property taxes will increase an average of about 5.9% in 2020 if community leaders stick to their plans.

County, school and municipal leaders will finalize 2020 property tax rates in December after public hearings. They set preliminary levels in September and the final amount cannot go any higher than what was initially proposed.

Voters did modify some of those amounts on Election Day when they decided tax levy requests — primarily for local schools. Statewide, 77 of 97 school tax requests for operating funds and capital expenses passed on Nov. 5.

If nothing changes, total local property taxes will rise from $9.6 billion in 2019 to $10.2 billion in 2020. That does not include the state tax on business property that will fall from $840 million this year to $790 million in 2020.

Property taxes collected by local governments typically stay in the community to help pay for things like infrastructure and services — such as snowplow drivers and school teachers.

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Minnesota's counties collect most

Counties are the largest recipient of property taxes. Next year, counties hope to collect $160 million more than 2019, a 4.9% increase over this year, for a total of $3.5 billion.

In the east metro, Washington County has proposed the largest levy increase at 6%, followed by Ramsey and 4.7% and Dakota at 2.9%.

Schools taking 7% more

Public schools are a close second when it comes to property tax collections. Districts will get about 7% more from property owners in 2020, or $217 million, bringing the school total to $3.3 billion annually.

Local schools also get about $9 billion a year directly from the state Legislature and $650 million from the federal government.

Proposed school property taxes changes

Cumulatively, cities have proposed the largest property tax increase for 2020 at 7.5%. That equates to $190 million more next year for a total of $2.7 billion.