Second Ward, Minneapolis

This is the public policy forum of Minneapolis Second Ward (Green) City Council Member Cam Gordon and his staff. We use this space to talk about some of what Cam’s working on, explain his positions, and share a little of what life in City Hall is like. Please feel free to comment on posts, within certain ground rules. See our disclaimer, including ground rules, here:

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Street Lighting Fee

Public Works staff has scheduled two public meetings to give input on a proposed street lighting fee. Currently, the $3 million a year needed to keep the street lights on in the city comes from the general fund, which gets around 20 percent of its money from LGA. As I've said previously, our LGA has been cut by $21.3 million.

One option being considered is a street lighting operations fee for all property owners of around $20 a year. The meetings are on Tuesday, July 14, 6:30-8:30pm at Farview Park, 621 29th Ave N; and Thursday, July 16, 6:30-8:30pm at Martin Luther King Park, 4055 Nicollet Ave S.

I have serious reservations about the idea of adding a new fee for what I consider to be a basic City service. I would strongly prefer raising the same revenue - if we must - from property taxes. I'm very wary of the current trend in government to call a tax a "fee." A commenter on the Minneapolis issues list has given a great practical reason to resist this trend: property taxes are tax deductable, on one's federal tax forms. New city fees are not.


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