I have some encouraging news for property-tax payers: after years of work and months of meetings with legislators (more than we can count), today a bill was introduced at the State Capitol to reform two closed Minneapolis pension funds that have been the source of significant property-tax increases on many Minneapolis residents and businesses.
The author of the bill is Senator Scott Dibble of Minneapolis. The next step is for the bill to be heard by the Legislature’s Pension Commission, which we fully expect to happen either tonight or Thursday. Whenever it does, I will be there to testify on behalf of Minneapolis property-tax payers.
You can help: please contact your legislators today and let them know that you strongly support this bill. (If you’re not sure who your legislators are, go here and just enter your address. Reference bill number S.F. 1419 when you contact them.)
A court has ruled that these funds overcharged Minneapolis taxpayers at least $52 million in the last decade, and taxpayers’ obligations to these closed funds — which the City does not control — have been skyrocketing: Minneapolis taxpayers are paying $15 million more in 2011 than they paid in 2010 to meet those obligations. That $15 million is more than the total amount that property taxes went up this year.
If legislators don’t take action this year, we’re looking at an increase of similar magnitude — which we cannot control — in taxpayers’ obligations to the closed funds next year.
Only the Legislature can change State law to fix this broken closed-pension system, end the funds’ conflicts of interest and put an end to skyrocketing costs that are driving up property taxes, all while making sure that pensioners receive the benefits they deserve.
Take a minute right now to contact your legislators, before the hearing that will happen tonight or tomorrow. Believe me, you are making a difference. Please keep up the pressure to pass this bill to reform the broken closed pensions and stop skyrocketing property-tax hikes.
Mayor R.T. Rybak
P.S.: Go here to learn more about the City’s efforts to fight for property-tax payers and reform these closed pensions.
Published May. 11, 2011