Isn’t that Special

KARE 11 reports on Minneapolis offloading road repair from general fund to special assessments … Minneapolis property tax with a ‘give and take’

“MINNEAPOLIS — Alan Jasperson likes old stuff, he fixes vintage radios for a living. But now his street Bloomington South in Minneapolis has been labeled a relic.
The city sent out letters to residents and business owners in the Hale Neighborhood notifying them the streets will be resurfaced, and they have to pay for it.
‘1,995 dollars so they could fix my street, it just seems like a lot of money but I can’t do anything about it,’ Jasperson said.
Road assessments happen all the time, but the timing on this one was suspect, because Friday morning the Minneapolis City Council approved a property tax relief account that will be funded with 2.8 million dollars from a road paving program.
Councilwoman Betsy Hodges says these would not be assessment dollars. Hodges’ tax relief account will reduce the levy increase in 2012 by one percent.
‘We knew that 2011 and 12 are bad years for property taxes in Minneapolis and if we can reduce the size of the levy, for 2012 that will help residents in Minneapolis,’ Hodges said.
Business and home owners can opt to pay the assessment in one lump sum or roll it into their property taxes, but then incur interest.”

I don’t have a problem with a separate fund mechanism for road maintenance, but the city should be honest about it. Set up a Transportation Utility Fee, e.g.
For the record, my own property was recently assessed to pay for road resurfacing in my MPLS neighborhood, it seems a standard practice.

3 thoughts on “Isn’t that Special”

  1. Minneapolis is a case study for the problems the US has these days with irrational greed. For over a decade Minnesota refused to raise it’s gas tax, which was a fixed amount and not indexed to inflation. to say nothing of stealing gas tax revenues to fix other holes in the budget.
    At the same time, we here in Minnesota complain about the quality of our roads.
    We seem to want our problems addressed without needing to pay for them. Now the situation is so bad in Minneapolis that there is no way tax dollars can make all the repairs needed. Thus the huge assessments.

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