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The bill that would impact cities over 2,500 population will be up on Thursday.
(Published Apr 10, 2013)
A bill from Rep. Paul Marquart (DFL-Dilworth) would require local governments with a population over 2,500 to hold an additional public hearing prior to adopting its proposed levy. HF 1570 requires publication of a “preliminary proposed budget” prior to September 1st, and then requires a public hearing be held after September 1st, but before the proposed levy is adopted, which under current law must occur by September 15th. The preliminary proposed budget must be published on the city website, and the public hearing:
• may not start before 6:00 p.m.;
• must allow for the public to testify;
• must be distributed electronically via television or over the Internet; and
• must allow for public input electronically via e-mail or social media.
In addition, prior to the hearing, each jurisdiction must publish information about the hearing on their Web site, as well as in the official newspaper of the taxing authority. The hearing and publication requirement are in addition to all currently required hearings and notices.
The bill would impose significant costs on cities, and there are many unanswered questions about how it would be implemented. As drafted, there is no provision for cities that do not maintain websites or are not equipped to broadcast hearing via television or webcam. In addition, for cities that do not have twice monthly meetings, the bill would require an additional hearing to be noticed and held.
A similar bill, HF 1724 (Davnie, DFL-Minneapolis) was debated by the Tax Committee on April 9th. The Davnie proposal would require that each taxing district provide the following information at an publicly-noticed hearing prior to September 1st:
• the estimated proposed levy, prior final levy, and percent change;
• the tax rate for the estimated proposed levy, current tax rate, and percent change;
• a statement of reason for the increase or decrease, “including the four most significant factors resulting in the change, and an accounting of the distribution of levy proceeds from the prior year.
Unlike the Marquart proposal, HF 1724 does repeal the parcel-specific notice required by current law.
HF 1570 will be before the House Tax Committee on Thursday at 12:30 p.m. The League is currently researching how many cities over 2,500 population do not have a website and/or do not have twice monthly meetings. Please contact the League is you have questions or comments about either bill.
Questions? Contact Gary N. Carlson at firstname.lastname@example.org or at (651) 281-1255.
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