Commercial property taxes in downtown Northfield have risen over 300% in the past decade. At their current levels, they are literally threatening the economic viability of our historic commercial district as well as undermining small business retention, expansion, and recruitment.
Last year, working with Senator Dahle and Representative David Bly, the NDDC saw legislation to help address the commercial property tax issue in older commercial districts throughout Greater Minnesota introduced in both the Senate and House. With the challenge of balancing State revenues with expenditures during the session, the bills were not implemented.
There was another bill addressing commercial property taxes drafted in the Senate last year. This bill differed somewhat from our proposal, however, it would also have helped downtown Northfield.
At yesterday’s meeting, we decided to work with the other group of senators to draft and support a single bill to address commercial property taxes in both the Senate and House. Although the State continues to face financial challenges, we are hopeful that our unified efforts will achieve success in 2010.