Bill Considered to Offer County Protections in State Overtax Case with Enbridge
A near-decade-long dispute over property taxes for Enbridge, Inc. in northern Minnesota may be ending soon. Now, lawmakers are trying to ensure that the bill for a refund won’t fall on taxpayers.
In 2012, Enbridge contested a valuation made by the state which affected the amount they were taxed. Since 2017, there has been an ongoing court battle over how much they owe in property taxes.
Those valuations are made by the State Department of Revenue, which is different from various other assets in Minnesota which are typically assessed by county officials.
Despite the assessments made by the states, it would be up to the 13 individual counties the pipeline runs through as well as townships and even school districts to fulfill an upcoming refund order if it were to pass.
There are five years where there are disputes, which represents a significant amount of funds. Certain places would owe millions of dollars, which would be near impossible to pay back in some instances.
Senator Paul Utke has introduced a bill that will hold the state accountable for the refund. With four more weeks left in the session, lawmakers are hoping to have it passed this year in case there are no more appeals made by Enbridge or the state.
The bill would not be unique to the Enbridge court proceedings, but also apply to all utilities that are valuated by the state going forward.