OPINION | RT’s tax policy making me a three-time loser


Actually four, here’s how:

1) Eliminating all the future funding for the Como neighborhood, causing me to lose my job — my means for paying property taxes and buying goods and services in the city.

2) Eliminating all future funding for the neighborhood I live in, Armatage. So my neighborhood has less resources to work with to entice me (or others) to stay here vs. moving to some other locale with lower taxes (and more representative city leadership).

3) Increasing the amount I have to pay for these reduced services and my loss of a job by more than $300. Paying much more for much, much less.

Additional information on NRP/Property tax decisions
OPINION | Save NRP! by Jeff Skrenes

OPINION | NRP and Politix by Cam Gordon

The University of Minnesota’s Center for Urban and Regional Affairs (CURA) has prepared a series of maps showing the impact of NRP. Click below for PDF maps:

Median income and proposed NRP cuts
Foreclosure rates and proposed NRP cuts
Percentage of minority households and proposed NRP

Loss of funding per capita with proposed NRP cuts


And on top of it all, a #4 could be we got a notice that our local fire department is going to lose a firetruck (Rescue #1 with six specially trained fire firefighters), and the ladder company is going to be moved two miles to the north adding 15 minutes to the response time. Nice.

The thing is this could all be avoided without any cuts to any services at all and without a single increase to the Minneapolis taxpayer. Want to know how?

The simplest would be not increase the capital improvements budget by the 17.79 percent the mayor proposes. That would save us $16 million, and still provide $90 million for building stuff, discretionary stuff. Why are we building anything new in this economic “crisis” anyway? In 2008, this budget item was only $27 million, so there still seems like plenty of fluff there to pay for other unforeseen costs.

The other reduction would be to reduce our debt service by $16 million. The mayor proposes increasing this spending by more than 7 percent, but for what purpose? We already have restored our bond rating to “A” as the mayor has bragged about. This is a discretionary item. I’m proposing still spending $119 million on the black hole known as debt (more than double the fire department’s budget). We spent $114 million in 2008, so that’s not out of line. The NCR still has to go, though.

If these simple cuts are made, the mayor and council can keep their excessive budgets and extra staff. The City Coordinator can get his raise. 311 can keep spending [wasting] $3 million a year, the roads get plowed, the water keeps flowing, the potholes get patched, etc, etc…and we can all go back into our consumption comas — with the exception of maybe still talking to the county about their 10 percent increase.

But this will not happen, because the mayor wants to kill NRP. Apparently, he wants that to be his legacy, above all else. Destroying the fabric of communities, not one at a time, but wholesale.


[First published in E-Democracy, republished by permission of author.]