- Minnesota Cities & The League
- Governing & Managing
- Risk Management
- Legislative Action Center
- Training & Conferences
One version of the bill has been included in the Senate’s omnibus transportation finance bill, and another is a provision in the House’s omnibus tax bill.
(Published Apr 19, 2013)
A League initiative that would allow cities to create street improvement districts has been included two omnibus bills that are advancing through the legislature.
The bills, SF 607 (Sen. Jim Carlson, DFL-Eagan) and HF 745 (Rep. Ron Erhardt, DFL-Edina), would allow cities to collect fees from property owners within a district to fund municipal street maintenance, construction, reconstruction, and facility upgrades. If enacted, this legislation would provide cities with an additional tool to build and maintain city streets.
One version of the bill has been included in the Senate’s omnibus transportation bill, a delete-all amendment to SF 1173 (Sen. Scott Dibble, DFL-Minneapolis). The language is limited to street maintenance (i.e. it does not allow for new construction or reconstruction), and it sunsets in five years. This version also exempts property owned by charitable organizations from paying. The omnibus transportation bill is awaiting passage by the Senate Finance Committee.
A second version of the bill has been included in the House omnibus tax bill, HF 677 (Rep. Ann Lenczewski, DFL-Bloomington). The omnibus tax bill contains many of the provisions in the original street improvement district bill; however it limits the rate so that no property will pay more than twice another property. In other words, a business could not pay more than twice a single family home. It also exempts all tax exempt property. The omnibus tax bill passed out of House Ways and Means on Fri., April 19, and is awaiting action by the full House.
The League recognizes that neither version of the street improvement district initiative is ideal, but hopefully the language will be improved as the measure moves through the process.
In spite of the progress the initiative has made this session, it still faces stiff opposition from business advocates who fear they will face a disproportionate burden for funding city streets if the bill becomes law.
Your Assistance Needed In an effort to demonstrate the broad city support that exists for this initiative, the League is seeking resolutions of support from city councils. If your council is unable to meet soon to pass a resolution, then please send a letter to your legislators from your mayor. Support from cities is critical to securing key votes from legislators who may not be familiar with the street improvement district initiative.
The League has prepared an “advocacy toolkit” containing a fact sheet with talking points, a sample city council resolution, and a sample letter to be signed by the mayor.
If your city passes a resolution or your mayor signs a letter of support, please send a copy to your legislators (find them here) and to Anne Finn at the League of Minnesota Cities at firstname.lastname@example.org
Questions? Contact Anne Finn at email@example.com or at (651) 281-1263.
* By posting you are agreeing to the LMC Comment Policy.
The LMC Intergovernmental Relations (IGR) staff is focused on legislative advocacy for cities. Feel free to contact any IGR member with questions, concerns, or suggestions about legislative issues and League policies.
The League is here to advocate on behalf of cities, but it is important for cities to also tell their stories.