Keep the pressure on to keep taxes down

Today, Minneapolis taxpayers lost at the Capitol. This morning, the House of Representatives Government Operations and Elections Committee passed the bill that will raise Minneapolis property taxes by $10 million in 2012 and 2013. City Council President Barbara Johnson and I were there and testified against the bill, on your behalf.

There’s some good news: in just 24 hours, you generated stacks of phone messages and emails to legislators. Your responsiveness made a difference: as a result your efforts, we won more votes for Minneapolistaxpayers. We will be asking you to help again, especially when it comes to closed-pension reform.

So what can you do now? The first thing is to thank the representatives who voted with Minneapolis taxpayers — their names are below and you can find their contact information here. I’d especially like you to thank Minneapolis Representatives Marion Greene and Frank Hornstein, both of whom voted today with the taxpayers they represent.

But this fight isn’t over, so there’s more you can do. These bills — H.F. 1358, sponsored by Minneapolis Representative Phyllis Kahn, and S.F. 953, sponsored by Minneaoplis Senator Ken Kelash — will now come to the floor of the House and Senate for a vote. The trick is that we don’t know when this will happen — in fact, we may have no notice at all — so you should keep calling and emailing your Minneapolis legislators. to let them know you oppose this tax increase. (If you’re not sure who represents you at the Capitol, go here and just enter your address.)

As I wrote yesterday, we heard you last fall when you told us your property taxes were too high, and we did two things: the City Council and I brought down the property-tax increase for 2011, and we held down property-tax increases in 2012 and 2013 by capping non-personnel spending in the old Neighborhood Revitalization Program, while making sure that ongoing neighborhood programs are effective and transparent.

Now, unfortunately, some at the Legislature want to step in, undo that tax relief and force a tax increase on you. This is all the more frustrating as the City ofMinneapolis has been fiscally responsible: we spend 7% less than we did 10 years ago, have paid down $130 million in debt and have restored the City’s AAA credit rating, which saves taxpayers money.

I can’t guarantee that we will win this fight, but I can guarantee that your calls and emails to your legislators will make sure they know how you feel about it.

Voted with Minneapolis taxpayers

Rep. Marion Greene (DFL – Minneapolis)
Rep. Frank Hornstein (DFL – Minneapolis)
Rep. Michael Nelson (DFL – Brooklyn Park)
Rep. Tim O’Driscoll (R – Sartell)
Rep. Bev Scalze (DFL – Little Canada)
Rep. Ryan Winkler (DFL – Golden Valley)

Voted against Minneapolis taxpayers

Rep. Michael Beard (R – Shakopee)
Rep. David Hancock (R – Bemidji) 
Rep. Carol McFarlane (R – White Bear Lake)
Rep. Rich Murray (R – Albert Lea)
Rep. Joyce Peppin (R – Rogers)
Rep. Duane Quam (R – Byron)
Rep. Tim Sanders (R – Blaine)
Rep. Steve Simon (DFL – St. Louis Park)
Rep. Dean Urdahl (R – Grove City)

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: