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The preferred version of the street improvement district initiative is included in the House’s omnibus tax bill that was passed by the full House on April 24.
(Published Apr 25, 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 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 off the House floor on April 24, and there were no efforts made to eliminate the street improvement district language.
A second version of the bill has been included in the Senate’s omnibus transportation bill, 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 faces a more uncertain future. The Senate Tax Committee took up the omnibus transportation finance bill on April 22 and laid it on the table before voting it up or down.
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. The most likely outcome is that the version that exists in the House tax bill will be discussed in the Tax Conference Committee and may be included as a provision in the conference committee report.
Questions? Contact Anne Finn at firstname.lastname@example.org or at (651) 281-1263.
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