Friday, April 19, 2013

More than 75 Minnesota city councils pass resolutions supporting street improvement funding tool
League of Minnesota Cities-backed street improvement district legislation that would allow cities to collect fees from property owners to fund municipal street maintenance, construction, and reconstruction has received the endorsement of more than 75 city councils from all regions of the state that have passed resolutions of support over the past several weeks
If enacted, the bill—Senate File (SF) 607/House File (HF) 745—would provide cities in Minnesota with an additional tool to build and maintain city streets. The bill has bi-partisan support in both the House and Senate, with Republicans and Democrats signing-on as legislative co-authors. One version of the initiative has been included as a provision in the House’s omnibus tax bill, and another will be considered as part of the Senate’s omnibus transportation finance bill.
Supporters say that passage of the bill would allow property owners to fund expensive projects by paying relatively small fees over time, and provide for a reliable dedicated funding source other than the current volatile property tax system. Additionally, the tool could be used to minimize or eliminate the need for special assessments, which are often burdensome for property owners and difficult to implement for some cities.
City councils supporting the legislation have been asked by the League to approve and sign resolutions indicating that support. HF 745/SF 607 is also supported by the Association of Metropolitan Municipalities, Coalition of Greater Minnesota Cities, Minnesota Association of Small Cities, North Metro Mayors, Minnesota Transportation Alliance, City Engineers Association of Minnesota, and the Minnesota Chapter of the American Public Works Association.