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Saturday, April 26, 2008

Mall of America House Omnibus Discussions Coming Up Monday and Tuesday

Senator John Marty has an article in the Twin Cities Daily Planet about this boondoggle. It's well worth reading.

"Shopping mall parking ramp to get public money?"

Erik Paulsen is on the house tax committee, it will be interesting to see how he votes. Laura Brod, who signed the taxpayer league no new taxes pledge, but voted for the stadium swindle is also on this committee. Minneapolis Representatives and Senators include:

Scott Dibble
Jim Davne
Joe Mullery

Here's a list of house tax email addresses that you can paste into an email:,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

From the Minneapolis Issues list.

Minneapolis has an official position on the MOA is strongly opposed.

During a 5-hour televised hearing last week supporters had +20 testifiers (mall management, construction trades, hotel service workers, mayor of Bloomington). Opposition included the City of Mpls., Downtown Council, etc.

I am new to the state funding mechanisms so if I 'got it wrong'...please jump in.

Opposition considers it an improper use of Fiscal Disparities Funding and the possibility of a MOA theater would negatively impact our downtown theater district (which, according to our Mpls lobbyist, was built without using large public subsidies) . While not opposing MOA expansion, Mpls feels that use of the funding mechanisms (TIF changes and use of FDF) for a private venture forces non- MOA residents to subsidize their competiton. Downtown Council Exec (Grabarski?) gave examples of how this expansion could be done without the subsidy. One was charging for parking...the MOA is strongly opposed to doing that.

The Chair of the Tax committee (who reps Bloomington and opposes this proposal) presented pages upon pages of computer runs demonstrating the effect on ALL of Minnesota. One committee member said the one thing he had learned is that tinkering with one funding mechanism buldged out some where else.

Those feeling a disproportionate negative impact would be rural areas, small towns, schools and counties. One change could also affect non-MOA twin city suburbs.

These particular Tif changes can decrease LGA forcing local government units to raise property taxes. Use of FDF changes tax capacity and, if the Mall is exempted, the pool shrinks, again affecting everyone's LGA (and property taxes). The Chair said FDF was is not intended to be a private subsidy but a sharing tool spread among disparate tax bases.

There is a fear that approving the MOA proposal would create a precedent...with others coming to the legislature. The chair said that there are groups waiting to see how the MOA plays out so they can submit their projects. Comments were also made about the philosophy of these mechanisms...Perpich era, JOBZ... Also a legal question on what's included in a Tif district and an entity (Bloomington) would have 2 rates...and changes would be challenging as no one actually lives at the MOA.

Committee members asked other many real living wage jobs would be created, what's included in compliance, impact on construction was a long, complicated (at least for me) session but fascinating. It might be in the legislature's webcast archives but I haven't checked.

with best wishes,
cheryl luger
nokomis east

From a reader:

HOUSE Omnibus discussions coming up on Monday and Tuesday.

This is the house tax commitee next week (omnibus). People need to check with the tax comm for updates/changes. No Agendas have been posted listing specific bills. Found out you can hang around for floor sessions that don't end until 8:30 pm or later.

MONDAY, April 28, 2008
9:00 AM
Meeting Time Note: The committee will recess for the floor session
Committee: Taxes
Room: 10 State Office Building
Chair: Rep. Ann Lenczewski
Agenda: Omnibus Tax Bill

MONDAY, April 28, 2008
12:30 PM

TUESDAY, April 29, 2008
9:00 AM
Meeting Time Note: The committee will recess for the floor session
Committee: Taxes
Room: 10 State Office Building
Chair: Rep. Ann Lenczewski
Agenda: Omnibus Tax Bill


3) here are tax committee numbers. People contacting legislators need to remember Civility is very important.

a) House tax members:

Phone Number
(651) area code E-mail Address
Chair: Ann Lenczewski (DFL) 296-4218
Vice Chair: Sandy Wollschlager (DFL) 296-8635
Lead-GOP: Dean Simpson (R) 296-4293
Joe Atkins (DFL) 296-4192
Laura Brod (R) 296-4229
Lyndon Carlson (DFL) 296-4255
Jim Davnie (DFL) 296-0173
Chris DeLaForest (R) 296-4231
Randy Demmer (R) 296-9236
David Dill (DFL) 296-2190
Ron Erhardt (R) 296-4363
Debra Hilstrom (DFL) 296-3709
Mike Jaros (DFL) 296-4246
Lyle Koenen (DFL) 296-4346
Paul Kohls (R) 296-4282
Morrie Lanning (R) 296-5515
John Lesch (DFL) 296-4224
Tina Liebling (DFL) 296-0573
Paul Marquart (DFL) 296-6829
Joe Mullery (DFL) 296-4262
Erik Paulsen (R) 296-7449
Tom Rukavina (DFL) 296-0170
Loren Solberg (DFL) 296-2365
Cy Thao (DFL) 296-5158
Tom Tillberry (DFL) 296-5510
Kurt Zellers (R) 296-5502

Links on a Senator's name leads to their biography
Number of Members: 13
Chair: Thomas M. Bakk
Vice Chair: Dan Larson
Ranking Minority Member: Julianne E. Ortman
Member: D. Scott Dibble
Debbie J. Johnson
Keith Langseth
Warren Limmer
John Marty
Mee Moua
Lawrence J. Pogemiller
David H. Senjem
Katie Sieben

Rod Skoe

Is it time for them to go home yet? As a property taxpayer in Minneapolis, I feel safer when they aren't in session.