Street Improvement District Bill Approved by Division but Fails to Meet Deadline

March 15, 2021

The bill would give cities authority to collect fees from property owners within a district to fund work on municipal streets.

The House Local Government Division approved the League-initiated street improvement district bill on a vote of 6-3 on March 10. The measure would give cities new authority to collect fees for street improvements.

The bill was referred to the State Government Finance and Elections Committee; however, it did not get a hearing there before the first committee deadline of March 12. This means the bill is unlikely to advance in 2021. If the measure is not acted upon this session, it will remain viable in 2022.

Bill details

HF 1565 (Rep. Steve Elkins, DFL-Bloomington) would allow cities to create street improvement districts. This authority would allow cities 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 bill, SF 1998 (Sen. Ann Johnson Stewart, DFL-Wayzata), was introduced on March 11 and has not been scheduled for a hearing.

Opposition to the bill

The bill is opposed by at least 20 groups, ranging from the Minnesota Auto Dealers Association, to the Minnesota Retailers Association, to the Minnesota Trucking Association. The opposition claims cities do not need another tool for funding street improvements, and that city councils will find ways to abuse new authority.

See the handout distributed by the opponents (pdf)

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