Minnesota Taxation

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Online Resources[edit | edit source]

Why Use Tax Records[edit | edit source]

By studying several consecutive years of tax records you may determine when a young men came of age, when individuals moved in and out of a home, or when they died leaving heirs. Authorities determined wealth (real estate, or income) to be taxed. Taxes can be for polls, real and personal estate, or schools.

Tax record content varies and may include the name and residence of the taxpayer, description of the real estate, name of original purchaser, description of personal property, number of males over 21, number of school children, slaves, and farm animals. Tax records usually are arranged by date and locality and are not normally indexed. Tax records can be used in place of missing land and census records to locate a person’s residence.

How to Use Tax Records for Minnesota[edit | edit source]

County Level[edit | edit source]

It has not yet been determined what types of tax records are held and available in local county courthouses. The Family History Library has acquired only a few tax records. [1]

State Level[edit | edit source]

  • 1862-1866 Internal revenue assessment lists for Minnesota Internal revenue assessment lists were created into divisions called Districts, each county is put into a district. County names are arranged alphabetically within the division and then within months. The following is a list of counties placed in which district. (knowing the district and county your ancestor lived in will make searching this years taxes list a little faster)
    (once on page scroll down to district desired and click on camera to open)

U.S. Internal Revenue Assessment Lists. Three types of Reports: A=Annual; M=Monthly; S=Special Years and Reports may be different.

DISTRICT 1: Cottonwood, Dodge, Fariboult, Fillmore, Freeborn, Houston, Jackson, LeSucur, Martin, Mower, Murray, Nicollet, Nobles, Olmsted, Pipestone, Redwood, Renville, Rice,Rock, Scott, Sibley, STeele, Waseca, Watonwan, Winona

DISTRICT 2: Aitkin, Andy Johnson, Anoka, Becker, Benton, Big Stone, Carlton, Carver, Cass, Chippewa, Chisago, Clay, Crow Wing, Dakota. Douglas, Goodhue, Hennepin, Isanti, Itasca, Kanabec, Kandiyohi, Lac qui Parle, Lake, Lincoln, McLeod, Mohnomen, Meeker, Mille, Lacs, Morrison, Otter Tail, Pine, Polk, Ramsey, Saint Louis, Sherburne,Stearns, Stevens, Todd, Traverse, Wabasha, Washington, Wright

The Minnesota Historical Society holds assessment rolls on taxable property and tax lists for nearly 50 counties. These records are filed under the respective county at the Minnesota Historical Society. Some tax records are arranged by townships or municipalities. [2]

Minnesota Historical Society
345 W. Kellogg Blvd.
St. Paul, MN 55102
651-259-3000 • 1-800-657-3773
Historical Society

Tax Laws[edit | edit source]

Abraham Lincoln instituted the income tax in 1862, and on July 1, 1862, Congress passed the Internal Revenue Act, creating the Bureau of Internal Revenue (later renamed to the Internal Revenue Service). This act was intended to “provide Internal Revenue to support the Government and to pay interest on the Public Debt.” Instituted in the height of the Civil War, the “Public Debt” at the time primarily consisted of war expenses. For the Southern States that were part of the Confederate side of the Civil War, once Union troops took over parts of the Southern States, income tax were instituted on them. [3]

  • To learn more about this Collection click here
  • To learn more about the Civil War taxes click here

What history has shown us is that while property taxes are locally levied, there is significant state involvement with the amount of tax local political subdivisions can levy, how property assessments are conducted, and what services local taxing subdivisions must provide for their residents. This comes at a cost to state taxpayers, because the state has obligations it must fund as well, with a limited amount of state tax dollars.

References[edit | edit source]