Iron Mining Supports Northeastern Minnesota with over $103 Million in Tax Contributions

Posted September 13, 2019

The Minnesota Department of Revenue just released its 2019 Mining Tax Guide, which describes the allocation of more than $103 million from iron mining production taxes. These production tax dollars were distributed in 2019 based on the 2018 production year. Iron mining also pays an occupation tax, which is distributed to the general fund, for use throughout the state. While not a tax, Minnesota’s iron producers also pay royalties to the state to benefit every student from kindergarten through college.

“It’s important that people understand the outsized role iron mining plays in our communities,” said Kelsey Johnson, president of the Iron Mining Association of Minnesota (IMA). “Iron mining is more than trucks and pits — it’s millions of dollars. It supports our towns. It supports our schools. It supports community well-being. It generates opportunity and prosperity for the people of northeastern Minnesota.”

A majority of the 2019 iron mining tax dollars went to the Department of Iron Range Resources and Rehabilitation (IRRR), which received over $37 million. The IRRR is a State of Minnesota economic development program that uses the proceeds of iron mining to spur growth and prosperity in northeastern Minnesota.

School districts in iron mining areas also received a significant portion of the distributed tax dollars, over $19 million. The remainder of the tax dollars went to the counties, cities and townships of Minnesota’s iron mining region, to provide property tax relief in various forms.

The report shows that Minnesota’s iron mining industry produced 39 million tons of iron ore in 2018 — the highest annual amount since 2014.

“The better our mines perform, the more our communities receive in return,” continued Johnson. “The IMA appreciates the hard work of everyone involved in our state’s iron mining industry. Congratulations to all of the hardworking women and men on another successful year of output — it helps our region in a very big way.”

Each Minnesota taconite facility pays an increased amount in production taxes. This money is then dispersed to the IRRR and six Minnesota counties: Aitkin, Cook, Crow Wing, Itasca, Lake and St. Louis. County auditors make payments to the designated recipients within each county.

For more information, view the full 2019 Minnesota Mining Tax Guide on the Minnesota Department of Revenue’s website: