League’s Street Improvement District Bill Advances

February 24, 2020

The bill, which would allow cities to collect fees from property owners within a district to fund municipal street improvements, was passed by the House Subcommittee on Local Government.

The House Subcommittee on Local Government on Feb. 19 passed a League-initiated bill that would give cities new authority to collect fees for street improvements.

It was rereferred to the House Government Operations Committee.

HF 1095 (Rep. Steve Elkins, DFL-Bloomington) would allow cities to create street improvement districts. Cities would have the authority to collect fees from property owners within a district to fund municipal street maintenance, construction, reconstruction, and facility upgrades.

If enacted, this legislation would provide cities with an additional tool to build and maintain city streets.

The Senate companion, SF 1271 (Sen. Dave Senjem, R-Rochester), has not been scheduled for a hearing.

Opposition to the bill

The bill is opposed by at least 20 groups, including the Minnesota Auto Dealers Association, the Minnesota Retailers Association, and the Minnesota Trucking Association.

At the committee meeting, they distributed a handout which, among other claims, says cities do not need another tool for funding street improvements, and that city councils will find ways to abuse the new authority.

City action needed

City officials are encouraged to contact their legislators to express support for the bill.

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