Mayor Jacob Frey has presented his recommended 2019 City budget to City leaders – a budget that includes a significant increase in funding for affordable housing programs. The City Council began reviewing the recommended $1.55 billion budget, held a series of budget presentations in September and October, and will vote on adopting a budget Dec. 5. The Board of Estimate and Taxation held a public hearing to set the maximum property tax levy at 5:05 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 12. The recommended budget includes a 5.63 percent tax levy increase. The City’s revenues come from a variety of sources with property taxes accounting for about 23 percent of the budget. The City’s tax base has increased by more than 10 percent between 2018 and 2019 and the proposed levy increase is less than 6 percent, resulting in the overall tax rate going down.
A few highlights of the mayor’s proposed budget include:
- $40 million in City funding for affordable housing programs, including $21.6 million for the Affordable Housing Trust Fund.
- A $660,000 investment in the Group Violence Intervention program led by the Health Department, which brings law enforcement and social service providers together with youths to help find a positive path away from gun violence.
- $350,000 toward ensuring an accurate count for the 2020 Census.
- $500,000 for Village Trust, the state’s only black-owned cooperative and community development institution in Minnesota.
- $4.4 million to repair defective or hazardous sidewalks.
Visit the City’s budget website to review the 2019 recommended budget, learn about key dates in the approval process and to watch a video about how you can provide feedback on the proposed budget. I will also be sending out weekly updates starting next week with how the budget supports the strategic goals that we as a community set together for the Ward back in early Spring.
2040 Comp Plan Update
The revised draft of Minneapolis 2040 was released in Fall 2018 for consideration by the Planning Commission and City Council. Public comments can be submitted to the Planning Commission and City Council online. The newest draft of the plan includes changes that were submitted by the public and from Councilmembers.
Some of the changes that I would like to see is a change to the 2 car parking minimum in our zoning, increased small business in the form of mixed use development along transit and likely future cultural corridors like Camden Town, for example. I would also like to see flexibility in how each ward is able to grow and change for its residents. For me, equity is understanding that the needs of our city are not met with one solution to solve every issue. The same issue in every ward may not need the same solution and that’s ok. While this plan is a requirement of all cities in this state, I want to make sure that we are pushing ourselves to think much deeper about the real issue that we face as a growing city and lay the groundwork for our future progress now. We need to be proactive in our efforts and plan ahead.
The Planning Commission will hold a public hearing on October 29, and the City Council will hold a public hearing the week of November 12. The City Council is expected to vote on the Comprehensive Plan in December before submitting the plan to the Metropolitan Council. More information on the time and location of the public hearing will be released at a later date. Please stay connected to the process by following the comp planning team on Twitter @Mpls2040 and signing up for the comp plan at the City of Minneapolis Website.
As we start nearing the close of my first year in office, I want to let everyone know how much I appreciate you. Your calls, emails, and most importantly the work that you are doing out in the community is inspiring and motivates me in my role as your Councilman each and every day. Many hands make little work. While we still have a lot of work to do, I am encouraged by what we accomplish when we put our heads together to work towards a common goal.
Councilman Phillipe Cunningham