As regular readers of the NDDC blog are aware, commercial property taxes are a big issue for the downtown. Since 2000, these taxes have increased approximately 30% each year. In fact, ever-increasing commercial property taxes threaten the economic vitality of Northfield’s business community.
The NDDC has been working on this issue for a long time. First, with Senator Neuville and Representative Cox, resulting in the “This Old Building” proposal. Next, with Senator Dahle and Representative Bly, resulting in what we called the “This Old District” proposal. Now, we hope to meet with Senator DeKruif and Representative Woodard.
Earlier this fall, Dahle and Bly plugged us into the Property Tax Working Group up at the State Legislature. I attended the first session. Admittedly, I can sometimes be a little (cheerfully) cynical. However, I’m not optimistic about any quick relief.
The primary charge of the group is to make the system efficient, understandable, and easier. After sitting through a 50-minute PowerPoint presentation by a state staffer, I’ll admit there’s a bit of complexity in the system.
Once they make progress toward “efficient, understandable, and easier”, they are to begin considering changes in the apportionment of the tax burden. They hope to have recommendations on this aspect by 2014.
As I said, I’m not optimistic about quick relief. However, I look forward to meeting with the newest set of legislators and hearing their views and ideas on this subject.