Category: Budget

  • How much is that tree worth?

    Here’s the next installment of “What’s it worth?” – the dollarization of different community “items” (see the Zoo here and bicycling here): what are trees worth in Pittsburgh?  The iTree software tools (“Tools for Assessing and Managing Community Forests”) from the USDA Forest Service helps calculate what trees are worth by helping assess an areas’s urban […]

  • Dear Representative Bly

    So, Senator Kevin Dahle’s tweet about LGA sparked a recent post and now my state representative David Bly’s newsletter has me blogging on a related issue. Really, the issue is how can the public conversation begin to address the relationship between property taxes and their friends (LGA, tax relief of various kinds, business subsidies), the crumbling […]

  • Rarely economical disappointing development

    First, the NY Times series on subsidies and now the Strib has Art Rolnick (former head of research at the Minneapolis Fed) and business writer Mike Meyers bringing the Times’ information back to Minnesota in the context of Governor Dayton’s tax plan in The Subsidy Bonanza. A few highlights: Stadium subsidies are “part of a […]

  • Dear Senator Dahle

    With the power shift in the state legislature, I’m looking forward to the legislative session with a teeny tiny bit of hope and a whole lot of apprehension.  My apprehension level rose precipitously yesterday when I read my new state senator’s tweet (@KevinDahle) that he’d been meeting with a district mayor as part of working […]

  • Revenue handcuffs on local government

    Thanks, Minneapolis Fed!   Latest issue of FedGazette has a piece on unfunded mandates and other ways local government is burdened by the folks upstairs: Even the most flexible, forward-thinking government can run into roadblocks not of its own making. Numerous local government sources said unfunded state and federal mandates often prevent cities, counties and […]

  • New tax report from MN Dept of Revenue

    As we approach the fiscal cliff in Washington, there’s a new report from St. Paul about property taxes which give some hope for the longer term.  In addition to recommendations for reform, the quick education on tax policy and the history of property taxes in Minnesota is well worth reading. I admit, I still have a […]

  • Not all development patterns have the same price tag

    And for my last Council meeting, the business park is on the agenda for discussion…so here’s one more attempt to ask questions about the cost and scope of this project. The background as we know it: 530 acres annexed west of the hospital to be master-planned and developed as a business and residential development.  Required improvements […]