2017 Bright Idea
County of Anoka, MN
January 1, 2017

Property taxes provide the bulk of funding for state and local government services, yet the complicated formula and dry nature of the topic mean few understand how property taxes are determined. Anoka County's Property Taxes 101 online public video makes a complicated and boring subject clever and easy to understand. Focusing on the two core factors of decisions made by governing bodies, and the value of a property and properties around it, program staff were able to create a video that uses a simple pumpkin pie to demonstrate how someone's "slice" of the overall property tax levy can change in size based on the number of slices being extracted from the pie, and also the value attributed to a slice. Since launch, Anoka County has made this video available to local schools, and any other local government that would like it as an educational tool. It has also been used by the Association of Minnesota Counties (AMC) and promoted to AMC's 87 member counties as an educational tool for their citizens.

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