consultants are sandburs

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Ramsey joins Anoka County in raising property taxes.

The County's action, earlier noted in a Crabgrass post, here.

Ramsey's action, reported by ABC Newspapers, here. The nose count on the city tax increase vote was not given in that report (or did I miss it?).

Important to the future; the Ramsey HRA and the stealth budget line it imposed during earlier councils has been eliminated.

Remember who pulled that separate second tax ploy, or it might happen again. Hagen of ABC Newspapers in his report notes:

The HRA governing body was the same seven members of the city council.

“It essentially was a second layer of government. We didn’t even move seats for our meeting,” Council Member Chris Riley said.

Although the word “housing” was in its title, the HRA was the legal entity that owned city property, including land in The COR where the city wants to not only bring more residential rooftops, but commercial developers as well.

Riley said the council has been discussing this for a year and felt this was the best move to be more transparent. The costs of city staff time and any consultant costs that come up and paying broker fees for land transactions must still be paid by the city but will now be covered by the general fund.

After approving the budget, the council approved dissolving of the HRA. The council previously transferred all assets from the Ramsey HRA to the city, so this vote Dec. 9 was the last step, according to City Attorney Joseph Langel.

The first proponent of this move was Council Member Randy Backous, the last president of the Ramsey HRA. Closing down the HRA is one of his last actions as a council member. He chose not to run for re-election after his one four-year term.

Backous said the city’s HRA levy was listed under the other tax authority section of the property tax bill and not included within the city property tax line item.

“One of our greatest accomplishments this year was dissolving the HRA and getting that hidden tax on the books,” Backous said.

Neither David Flaherty nor Ryan Cronk, to my knowledge, are on record one way or the other about the Ramsey HRA's demise. Hagen did not report whether Matt Look had anything to say of it either.

It is unknown whether Reflections in Ramsey will editorialize over either Ramsey step; the levy level or the HRA's downsizing to zero.

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