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Answer Man: Rochester tax burden is lighter

Dear Answer Man, I've heard that the property tax burden for a business in Rochester is actually less than in some area towns, comparing apples to apples. Is this true? I figured no one else can answer this question as well as you.

You're right, no one else can, though I'm not a big believer in apples to apples. There are always other factors involved, so it's more like comparing McIntosh apples to Haralson apples.

That said, there are some big, basic numbers I can share with you. These come from RAEDI , the area economic development agency, and they might surprise you.

RAEDI says the 2014 property tax burden for a Rochester business with commercial/industrial property valued at $2 million was $72,718. That's less than Byron ($82,697), Pine Island ($80,893) and Stewartville ($79,580).

The order is a little different for residential property. For a Rochester home with a market value of $175,000, your property tax bill was about $2,145 last year. In Stewartville, it was $2,571 and in both Byron and Pine Island, it was estimated at $2,501.


You can work out your own Olmsted County property tax valuation with the online estimator on the county website — I'll link to it online .

While I was rooting around in RAEDI's data, I was reminded of a question someone asked me a long time ago. I didn't answer it then, but I have the memory of an elephant and in the end, all questions get answered. If you've ever asked me a question, stick around and I'll get to it. Might be next year, might be in 2055, the year I expect to retire, but I'll get to it eventually. Here goes:

Dear Answer Man, I assume more people are employed in health and medical in Rochester than any other area, but what's no. 2 and 3? I'm sure government work is in there, somewhere.

Right on, and yes, government is always in there somewhere. The numbers, again, aren't as clear-cut as you would like, but in the "educational/health" category in spring 2014, there were four times as many jobs (42,000) as in the next category. Far behind was retail trade (11,697), followed by government (10,867), manufacturing (10,271) and leisure/hospitality (9,290).

Total non-farm employment in the metro statistical area, which includes Dodge, Fillmore and Goodhue counties, was 107,000.

Dear Answer Man, it looks like something's happening at the former Chardonnay restaurant property on Second Street. What's the plan? — Nosey

The plan is for a dental office with three apartments. I'll link online to the building permit ; the applicant is Todd Severson, of TLS Cos. of Rochester and the owner of the now-vacant lot at 723 Second St. SW is a limited liability corporation called Altaeast, also of Rochester. The application was filed in March and not long ago, the city responded with a list of clarifications and corrections to be made before the project moves ahead.

Nonetheless, what my Nosey reader has noticed is that there's a contractor's sign on the site now. I don't think that means construction is imminent, judging by the permit trail.

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