Before we get to anything else, let me start with a “Happy State Fair!” Looking forward to the hangover-on-a-stick, and visiting many of you at your booths. So glad you’re back…
Now: on to my thoughts at hand: Mayor Carter’s annual budget address last Wednesday. You can read news articles about it here and here. The proposal reflects a 15.3% increase in the property tax levy. My thoughts? I sent out a snappy tweet last week: “Mayor Carter proposes 7.6% real increase to tax levy. Carter’s proposal outlines real goals – and costs – of growing this capital city. Notable is the irony of rent control cap of 3%; math doesn’t compute.” On a more reflective note, I found Mayor Carter’s plan to be consistent with his stated priorities. The city has to grapple with the $15M budget deficit due to a lawsuit that made it all the way to the Supreme Court. So, though the city lost the lawsuit, street maintenance costs have been transferred to the general fund. Not sure who won that one. That takes care of 7.7% of the proposed increase. The real increase, then, is an additional 7.6% property tax burden for 2023.
My reaction? First of all, I’ve got questions in to the City’s CFO on how this 15.3% translates to some sample commercial properties in St. Paul. Second, I couldn’t get over the cognitive dissonance: Mayor Carter said, “same as every family and resident, the work of the city costs more every single year to do.” I agree. The illogical counterpoint is the property owner or housing developer, with rental control in place, who is legally prevented from similarly adapting to this reality.
I reviewed the budget proposal highlights:
Read here for budget proposal highlights, including American Rescue Plan Investments.
Finally, an opportunity to thank a public servant:
Do you know a public servant in the East Metro who demonstrates innovation and excellence? Help amplify and celebrate their achievements by completing this brief nomination for the 2022 Leaders in Local Government Awards in September. Nominees from within Ramsey, Dakota, and Washington counties will be selected based on their contributions and innovative initiatives and public policies that advance the public good and demonstrate a commitment to efficient and effective government in various areas of local/county government. If you’ve observed excellence, please take a moment to celebrate it!
See you in the trenches.
Election season is ramping up. Be sure to reference our East Metro Voter Guide to learn more about your candidates!
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