Iron Range mine tax adds dime-a-ton to school funds

Last week I looked at how the legislative session affected the Iron Range. There was one thing I overlooked. John Myers at the Duluth News Tribune explained the 10 cent per ton taconite production tax increase, which will be dedicated toward school improvements in the Taconite Tax Relief Area (loosely speaking, the Iron Range communities affected by mining companies that don’t pay local property taxes).

This has two effects: 1) obviously schools in need of repairs or new technology can get them, and 2) this might allow districts considering going to local taxpayers for bond referendums to avoid doing so. These measures have often been unsuccessful because the Iron Range is full of low-property value towns where raising millions of dollars is difficult.


  1. The school down in Moose Lake is in appalling condition, and last year’s flood din’t help. But — for the reasons you mentioned — paying for an adequate facility is a tough sell among local residents. Their referendum went down by a margin of almost 2 to 1:

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