COMMUNICATIONS AND NEWS FROM THE WEEK: January 8th, 2021
Meetings and Announcements:
The next City Council meeting will be held virtually on Monday, January 11th, 2021.
City Clerk Andrea Sindt held swearing in events this week for our newly elected and re-elected Mayor and Council members. This was the legal oath of office for Mayor Abrams and Council members, Knutson, Vilavicencio and Cave but the oath of office will be redone at the zoom Council meeting on Monday for the benefit of our community members or others who may be tuning in.
Updates from Staff and Council:
Sales Tax Exemption – Fire Station
Last year the city sought an exemption from the sales tax on construction materials for the proposed Fire Station. This is a common request among cities and helps to lower the overall cost of the project. However, because of COVID-19 and other priorities, the legislature did not include our bill into the final tax bill.
The city has asked for the bill to be submitted this year for approval. The exemption would save nearly $500,000 from the overall cost of the project.
State Senators Chuck Wiger, Sen. Susan Kent, and Sen. Ann Rest were co-sponsors of last year’s bill in the MN Senate. Rep. Peter Fischer, Rep. Tou Xiong, and Rep. Leon Lillie were co-sponsors in the MN House.
Here is a link to last year’s proposed bill: https://www.revisor.mn.gov/bills/text.php?number=HF3561&version=0&session=ls91&session_year=2020&session_number=0
New information will be updated with this year’s submittal.
Mayor Abrams, City Manager Coleman, Public Safety Director Nadeau, and Chief Mondor testified at the Capitol in favor of the bill.
Metropolitan Area Property Taxes and Values
Many of you may have noticed the article about metropolitan area property taxes in a recent Sunday’s Star Tribune. Typically this article runs before the truth-in-taxation meeting, but it was reprioritized this year given the amount of other notable news stories.
The chart below illustrates the average tax increase (decrease), by county, for all cities with population over 5,000 in the metropolitan area for taxes payable in 2021. The chart looks somewhat unusual this year as two counties have average decreases for all cities in the county. The City of Maplewood’s average decrease was -0.3% for residents in SD #622. The average decrease in Ramsey County was -1.5% for all cities combined. The average increase for the entire metropolitan area by county is 0.5%.
Anoka County is somewhat skewed, due to a 14.3% increase in Lino Lakes.
While property taxes remain stable throughout the metro, market values are increasing for taxes payable in 2021. The chart below shows the average increase in market value, by county, for all cities in the metropolitan area with populations over 5,000. The average increase in Maplewood was 6.2% (median value home). The average increase in Ramsey County for all cities was 5.2%. The average increase, by county, for the metropolitan area was 4.0%.
Ramsey County Redevelopment Properties - Ponds at Battle Creek and County Correctional Facility
The City of Maplewood and Ramsey County have scheduled the second community forum for the South Maplewood – Century Avenue Redevelopment Properties which will be held virtually on January 27, 2021, between 4 and 6 p.m. All are welcome to join the online meeting, and those in attendance will have the opportunity to participate in the meeting. The meeting agenda is outlined below. Please see the project website – www.maplewoodmn.gov/Ponds - to register for the meeting and for additional project information. A link to the meeting will be emailed to all registrants prior to the start of the meeting.
Meeting Agenda – Wednesday, January 27, 2021 – 4 to 6 p.m.
2. County Goals and Values
3. Summary of Engagement
4. Development Analysis
5. Interactive Exercises
6. Next Steps/Closing
WARMING HOUSE UPDATE:
We are scheduled to open warming houses at Afton Heights, Gethsemane, Wakefield and Four Seasons Parks on January 11. Please visit: https://maplewoodmn.gov/221/Skating-Rinks for information on hours, COVID guidelines and more.
These are the reports for this week. As always, please call if I can address any questions or concerns.