Advocacy Update, December 2019
December 27, 2019
THIS MONTH IN GOVERNMENT AFFAIRS
While Santa prepares for a busy night of deliveries, the worker elves at county courthouses have been preparing gifts of their own this Holiday Season. Throughout the Metro, homeowners have been receiving property tax statements for the coming year.
We appreciate the considerable efforts of elected officials spend in preparing their budgets, but it is not lost on SPAAR that most local governments are asking for additional resources in 2020. While the Association usually refrains from opposition to specific increases, your staff are working with our communities to:
- promote tax assessments of all real property on an equitable basis.
- restructure and reduce unreasonable reliance upon property taxes.
- support planned growth that stimulates the economy and increases the tax base.
North Metro News
- Adjustments to staff wages and benefits are responsible for the majority of the general fund levy increase in Shoreview.
- Ramsey County, partnering with cities and nonprofits, is using some tax-forfeited properties to create affordable homes and apartments for lower-income families.
South Metro News
- SD 191, which includes the communities of Burnsville and Eagan, is considering closing three schools due to continued declines in enrollment.
- The South Saint Paul city council passed an ordinance that rezones about 235 acres of land from industrial to light industrial, putting it at odds with one of the lone remaining vestiges of the city’s shuttered stockyards.
- Rosemount approved a 5.25 property tax levy increase, meaning the median value home will pay the city $54 more next year.
East Metro News
- Voting 4-3, a divided Saint Paul City Council approved their 2020 budget. Here are seven things you should know.
- Oakdale mega-development will add 1,400 new homes. The scale of the project could boost the city’s population by thousands of people, and is bigger than the former Ford Motor Co. property.
West Metro News
- Affordable units now a requirement for new apartment buildings in Minneapolis.
- Controversy is brewing in St. Louis Park, where residents are upset over a city proposal to make way for a bike lane.
- A key Southwest light-rail line contract increased by $21 million due to numerous delays that have dogged the $2 billion project.
State & National News
- On November 26, 2019, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) published the 2020 conforming loan limits for Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae. The baseline (national) limit will increase to $510,400 from $484,350 in 2019. To look up the loan limit in your area, click here. The new limits take effect on Jan 1, 2020. FHA is expected to publish its loan limits in early December, which should mirror the FHFA limits.
- A recent NAR analysis demonstrates that counties with public school enrollment gains experienced higher price appreciation in the last 7 years.
- Letters to some Minnesota cabin and vacation property owners arriving this month pose questions that could carry significant tax ramifications, possibly bumping their land into a costlier commercial classification.
- The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) is tied to the latest Continuing Resolution (CR). The House passed the measure on Tuesday to allow the Senate plenty of time to fund the government until September 30, 2020.
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