Taxes, Taxes Everywhere


Podcast Audio: https://commsolutionsmn.libsyn.com/episode-214-taxes-taxes-everywhere

YouTube: https://youtu.be/P78FSndpz8E

It doesn’t seem to matter what level of government we’re talking about. They have more ways to tax you for your money than you are aware of. Everyone is aware of the city levy that is reflected in their property taxes, but that’s just a small fraction. We like to talk about hidden taxes… ways that the city, county, school district, etc has to take your money without it showing upon your property tax statement. There are permits and licenses, Tax Increment Finance districts, bonding, sales taxes, and more. Property taxes are not directly determined by your property value. They are, rather, determined by what portion of the pie you are responsible for. There’s all sorts of grants and state and federal tax dollars available to them as well.

Counties also get a lot of money from state and federal sources. They are responsible for county roads, Health and Human services (including MNSURE), law enforcement, environmental work, and more. They have two or more levies (property and HRA) and sales taxes. They also confiscate cash and material goods through civil asset forfeiture when there is a suspected crime (and many who are found innocent never get their things back). They can hand out and receive grant money as well.

The school district funding formula takes in so many different variables, that Einstein might have trouble figuring it out.; Average Daily Membership, population, age of students, special education, free and reduced lunch… etc, etc. There is a lot of state and federal funding over and above the money they collect from the referendum you vote on. There is so much money flying around, it’s a wonder you have any left for you!

We also try to answer the question… why has MNDOT decided to work on every freeway at once? I mean, really… why is everything closed? This is some of the worst project planning we’ve ever seen.

Have you checked out our Spotify playlist? At the beginning of each episode, Jason quotes some song lyrics that have to do with the subject matter of the podcast. Andrew never knows what they are, but now he can… and so can you! We’ve launched the Spotify playlist: “Community Solutions Music From the Podcast!” You can listen to Roundabout from Yes after listing to Episode 30 on Roundabouts… or kick back and enjoy a rocking playlist just for the thrill of it. We add a new song every week. Subscribe and enjoy!

Don’t forget that you can also subscribe to our podcast on iTunes, Google Play, and Spotify!

June 14, 2021 at 10:53 pm Leave a comment

Gold Medal In The Benchmark


Podcast Audio: https://commsolutionsmn.libsyn.com/episode-213-gold-medal-in-the-benchmark

YouTube: https://youtu.be/bKUh5exMp28

The MN Green Step Cities program, administered by the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (check out Episode 18 for the basics on the program) is continuing to seduce MN cities of all sizes to join its ranks. It’s touted as a free and voluntary program, but is really just the local cap and trade club. Each step is reached with a number of actions that allegedly cut emissions and reduce energy usage. Once you reach Level 4 and Level 5, it ceases to be voluntary, as you have to benchmark the emissions, energy, and water usage from not just your public buildings, but also from certain private, commercial buildings as well. (It never really was free when you start to look at the cost of each step and the employee hours spent in implementation.)

There are large cities like Bloomington with many tens of thousands of people and small cities like Hewett with 256 people. Are cities like Hewett and Hackensack really not environmentally-minded already? There are about 20 cities that have attained to step 5, which means the tracking, tracing, and benchmarking of energy and water usage. The EPA uses the Energy Star program to manage the benchmarking of public and private buildings. These buildings are forced to report their benchmarking data, which will be displayed on a county-wide map. This is private data, and is incredibly troublesome. Then they attach grants, so that the “free money” might act as a carrot. Your city needs to get out of this program. If you value privacy, you can’t leave your city open to this.

We also talk about the recent report that COVID-19 may have started with a Wuhan lab leak. Why, when China is flexing their muscles, is the most powerful country in the world shrugging their shoulders and saying “meh”? Also, Minneapolis and St. Paul are finally lifting their mask mandate. It’s about dang time.

Have you checked out our Spotify playlist? At the beginning of each episode, Jason quotes some song lyrics that have to do with the subject matter of the podcast. Andrew never knows what they are, but now he can… and so can you! We’ve launched the Spotify playlist: “Community Solutions Music From the Podcast!” You can listen to Roundabout from Yes after listing to Episode 30 on Roundabouts… or kick back and enjoy a rocking playlist just for the thrill of it. We add a new song every week. Subscribe and enjoy!

Don’t forget that you can also subscribe to our podcast on iTunes, Google Play, and Spotify!

June 7, 2021 at 10:09 pm Leave a comment

Reimagine City Councils


Podcast Audio: https://commsolutionsmn.libsyn.com/episode-212-reimagine-city-councils

YouTube: https://youtu.be/5X-Mc10t8s8

A year ago, the Minneapolis City Council was dead set on not defunding, but dismantling, the Minneapolis Police Department. To do this, they would have to change the city charter, which required a police presence, including minimums per capita. The Charter Commission wasn’t having any of that. Either a “yes” or “no” vote on the proposal would put the issue back with the City Council for certain approval. Instead, they decided to table the proposal, putting it on hold for 90 days… and past the date of the election, tying the council’s hands. Now there is a “citizen-led” group (with the help of the ACLU, Minneapolis Federation of Teachers, and a whole mess of other radical groups) called Yes For Minneapolis that has one goal: to finish the work that the city council couldn’t get done. They circulated a petition to change the city charter, removing the police department entirely, and replacing it with the Department of Public Safety. They may or may not have to hire police at all, depending on the situation. What? Have they looked at the exponential rise in crime, shootings, and murder in Minneapolis? I can’t think of a worse solution.

Yes For Minneapolis is made of a bunch of also ran groups like Sex Workers Outreach Project Minneapolis, Reviving Sisterhood, Reclaim the Block, Education for Liberation, Women for Political Change, and others. Why are the 5% leading the 95% around? Why is the majority so scared of these radical groups? They are working to get this on the ballot for this coming November. You had better pray that this goes over like lead balloon, because once the police are gone, all the criminals will come here and the suburbs will be in their sights as well. Minneapolis needs to learn to be a good neighbor to the rest of the metro area. They are not an island unto themselves. Should they succeed with this proposal, they should come under an avalanche of lawsuits from the surrounding cities. They have a duty to do their fair share in protecting and serving the Metro area.

Have you checked out our Spotify playlist? At the beginning of each episode, Jason quotes some song lyrics that have to do with the subject matter of the podcast. Andrew never knows what they are, but now he can… and so can you! We’ve launched the Spotify playlist: “Community Solutions Music From the Podcast!” You can listen to Roundabout from Yes after listing to Episode 30 on Roundabouts… or kick back and enjoy a rocking playlist just for the thrill of it. We add a new song every week. Subscribe and enjoy!

Don’t forget that you can also subscribe to our podcast on iTunes, Google Play, and Spotify!

May 31, 2021 at 11:21 pm Leave a comment

The Bleeding Hearts And The Artists


Podcast Audio: https://commsolutionsmn.libsyn.com/episode-211-the-bleeding-hearts-and-the-artists

YouTube: https://youtu.be/5iFzeSyOpVk

There is an assault against our rural areas. All across our nation, most of the land mass is rooted in common sense. That doesn’t stop progressives from trying to change the political opinions of those that live outside the big cities and the suburbs. We’ve seen the urban and suburban areas get bluer, but the countryside seems to get redder. Well, we certainly can’t have that. Who knew that there was a movement going on to make the rural areas accept equity and sustainability, and they are using the arts to do it? Does art lead culture, or is it the other way around?

There has been a lot of pressure on rural communities to become Welcoming Cities, by adopting the program as part of their social outreach to bring equity everywhere. The Minnesota Association of Development Organizations (MADO) has begun to push the ten Minnesota regional development organizations toward implementing these projects. Region 5 (the regional development organization over Crow Wing and Morrison County) has gone gangbusters in creating programs in its various cities. It has been working with outside organizations with money and power to start these programs.

Chris Lindholm, the superintendent of the Pequot Lakes school district got into some trouble with the parents of his district. He created a video that blamed the residents of Pequot Lakes for being unwelcoming and biased. The video was posted to a site that is run by a leftist group called Voices for Rural Resilience (and has since been made private), whose goal is to spread their ideals about sustainability and critical race theory by using the arts. They are working in tandem with the Department of Public Transformation to implement “radical transformation” (exact quote). This project is being funded by the far-left McKnight Foundation. The Pequot Lakes School District held a work session that was open to the public, but refused to give the public an opportunity to speak their mind. The school district has sent multiple people to learn from the SEED project, and we’re surprised at the radical agenda being implemented in our classrooms? We can’t continue to check out on local government.

Governor Walz just got together with Rep Melissa Hortman and Senator Paul Gazelka and passed a $52 billion state budget. Is there any difference between the parties? Why are we even pretending there are two parties? Who is looking out for us?

Have you checked out our Spotify playlist? At the beginning of each episode, Jason quotes some song lyrics that have to do with the subject matter of the podcast. Andrew never knows what they are, but now he can… and so can you! We’ve launched the Spotify playlist: “Community Solutions Music From the Podcast!” You can listen to Roundabout from Yes after listing to Episode 30 on Roundabouts… or kick back and enjoy a rocking playlist just for the thrill of it. We add a new song every week. Subscribe and enjoy!

Don’t forget that you can also subscribe to our podcast on iTunes, Google Play, and Spotify!

May 24, 2021 at 11:38 pm Leave a comment

There’s A Storm A-Brewing


Podcast Audio: https://commsolutionsmn.libsyn.com/episode-210-theres-a-storm-a-brewing

YouTube: https://youtu.be/r-KWc9_6n_E

This week is a lightning round, where we discuss the local stories you need to know in order to keep them from happening in your city. In Brooklyn Center, Mayor Mike Elliot, proposed that a new public safety agency be created, along with a ban on arresting people during traffic stops. Violence against police (yes, even at traffic stops) is at epidemic proportions, yet Brooklyn Center (and they aren’t alone) is going to send unarmed police officers into harm’s way. Maybe Mayor Elliot should do a few ride-alongs.

The Northstar Rail line is back standing with its hand out. In 2020, ridership dropped 96%. Bureaucrats are worried that prices will go up for riders, if public subsidies aren’t offered. A one way ticket from Big Lake to Minneapolis was $68.35, but has gone up to $87.79 Don’t worry, riders only pay $6.25 for a one way ride. You pay the rest for the people that use this amenity.

Ottertail County isn’t interested in hosting Governor Walz for the Governor’s fishing opener. The real question… How many masks will he wear?

Edina Public Schools decided that a Tuesday night in the middle of May was a good time to hold a school referendum. A mere 5,448 votes were cast, cementing the fate of the estimated 2020 population of 52,857. That’s pathetic. Hold an election in November when everyone is already at the polls. Makes the outcome less certain though, doesn’t it? Enjoy those bus garages, parking lot changes, bandwidth, and firewalls. $7 million in deficit spending… that’s an expensive meatball.

Roseville City Council has brought in an equity and inclusion consultant to work with city staff to come up with an Equity Action Plan to be reflected in the operation of all city departments.

Guess which metro city sounds the most racist…. and no episode is complete without a good laugh at New Hope.

Have you checked out our Spotify playlist? At the beginning of each episode, Jason quotes some song lyrics that have to do with the subject matter of the podcast. Andrew never knows what they are, but now he can… and so can you! We’ve launched the Spotify playlist: “Community Solutions Music From the Podcast!” You can listen to Roundabout from Yes after listing to Episode 30 on Roundabouts… or kick back and enjoy a rocking playlist just for the thrill of it. We add a new song every week. Subscribe and enjoy!

Don’t forget that you can also subscribe to our podcast on iTunes, Google Play, and Spotify!

May 15, 2021 at 10:20 pm Leave a comment

Where Did I Leave My Car?


Podcast Audio: https://commsolutionsmn.libsyn.com/episode-209-where-did-i-leave-my-car-again

YouTube: https://youtu.be/YpEW2aSqlnY

Minneapolis has decided that it is going to eliminate the requirement for parking lots for new developments, calling it a subsidy for drivers. They want to reduce driving by 40% and all emissions by 80% by 2050. It prohibits new gas stations and drive-thrus throughout the city. (They weren’t able to foresee how important they would be during COVID, huh?) They are also blocking auto service businesses near Metro stations, all in an effort to reduce vehicle use.

Not to be outdone, St. Paul has started to discuss eliminating parking lot requirements for new developments as well. How can this ever work? What about tenants, delivery drivers, and visitors that relay on those lots. You can’t force everyone onto mass transit or to take jobs within walking distance from home. How do you move from one home to another? Where do these city councils get off mandating how everyone else has to live? I can go buy a car at any lot in America… but I am losing the right to store it somewhere unless I have a garage? Business owners are losing the right to solicit business from just anyone that wishes to shop there? The businesses that are in older developments will get an unfair advantage. This is the Green New Deal going in at the local level. We can’t stand for this.

We also discuss the south Minneapolis Target that was looted and burned last summer proudly displaying a new mural that depicts people celebrating while Minneapolis burns to the ground. How far are we willing to go to placate the woke mob? Apparently all the way. This is how nations fall.

Have you checked out our Spotify playlist? At the beginning of each episode, Jason quotes some song lyrics that have to do with the subject matter of the podcast. Andrew never knows what they are, but now he can… and so can you! We’ve launched the Spotify playlist: “Community Solutions Music From the Podcast!” You can listen to Roundabout from Yes after listing to Episode 30 on Roundabouts… or kick back and enjoy a rocking playlist just for the thrill of it. We add a new song every week. Subscribe and enjoy!

Don’t forget that you can also subscribe to our podcast on iTunes, Google Play, and Spotify!

May 2, 2021 at 9:35 pm Leave a comment

Define Infrastructure Again?


Bridge, Silhouette, Sunset, Dusk, Structure

Podcast Audio: https://commsolutionsmn.libsyn.com/episode-208-define-infrastructure-again

YouTube: https://youtu.be/ysUcYn8YcOI

The Democrats in Washington DC are proposing a $2.3 Trillion infrastructure bill. Bills like this have a local effect. The President has proposed $621 Billion for bridges, roads, public transit, and rail service,. $400 Billion is being set aside on affordable healthcare for the elderly and disabled. That’s infrastructure? $40 billion to upgrade outdated research labs. $50 billion for an office to oversee our supply chains.

But it gets worse (and less about COVID), as they give money to implement fair housing in cities. They want to withhold federal funds from cities that practice reverse segregation, and incentivize other cities to implement their urban planning dreams. I don’t know of any cities that keep races of people apart. I’m pretty sure anyone can live wherever they like, so long as they can afford it. It’s not about keeping minorities out of existing housing, however. That’s completely dishonest. It’s about urbanizing the suburbs, by removing zoning laws, not to allow for freedom, but to plan out the strategic placement of high density housing.

The Democrats have the ability to get a lot of this done. The Republicans will most likely force it to go through reconciliation, but there will still be a lot of bad stuff that passes in the final bill. Fire up the printers!

In other news, Brooklyn Center showed us every possible way on how not to manage an emergency. There were secret meetings, a curfew set minutes before they locked down for the night.

Have you checked out our Spotify playlist? At the beginning of each episode, Jason quotes some song lyrics that have to do with the subject matter of the podcast. Andrew never knows what they are, but now he can… and so can you! We’ve launched the Spotify playlist: “Community Solutions Music From the Podcast!” You can listen to Roundabout from Yes after listing to Episode 30 on Roundabouts… or kick back and enjoy a rocking playlist just for the thrill of it. We add a new song every week. Subscribe and enjoy!

Don’t forget that you can also subscribe to our podcast on iTunes, Google Play, and Spotify!

April 25, 2021 at 11:59 pm Leave a comment

Total Ineptitude


Podcast Audio: https://commsolutionsmn.libsyn.com/episode-207-total-ineptitude
YouTube: https://youtu.be/09BatLeVL88

It’s a critical time in the Twin Cities right now. The Derek Chauvin trial is going on and the peace of the Twin Cities balances on the head of the pin. Enter another disastrous situation, as a Brooklyn Center officer pulled over a young man that had a warrant out for his arrest for attempted robbery. He resisted arrest and tried to flee the scene. In trying to restrain him, the officer accidentally pulled her gun instead of her taser. The city immediately exploded into complete bedlam. There was rioting, looting, and curfews from the get go. The mob wanted the officer and the police chief fired right away. City Manager, Curt Boganey, reminded everyone that the officer had a right to due process… he was immediately fired.

This was one of many terrible decisions from Mayor, Mike Elliot, and the city council. They voted to fire the police chief and the officer. They stripped their own police from being able to use crowd control tactics against protesters. Elliot was out with Keith Ellison while all sorts of chaos was erupting around him, talking about how calm it was, while he was in an army helmet. What? He also tried to appeal the prosecution to Caesar… I mean, Keith Ellison, because he didn’t want Pete Orput, the Washington County Attorney to handle the case. Washington County is going to pursue 2nd degree manslaughter. We’ll see if the mob will stand for that. This situation is far from over. Katie, bar the door…

Guess who’s joining the Turtle Club? That’s right, the purveyor of all things bad, St Louis Park! They sent out a postcard to residents that they are “considering” lowering the residential speed limits to 20mph. Then on the other side of the postcard, they say that the slower speed limits are coming. Which is it? Of course they have already spent a ton of money on employee hours, marketing, and having every street in the city mapped out. Sounds to us like the consideration is complete, as they copying other cities to join the 20 is Plenty program.

Have you checked out our Spotify playlist? At the beginning of each episode, Jason quotes some song lyrics that have to do with the subject matter of the podcast. Andrew never knows what they are, but now he can… and so can you! We’ve launched the Spotify playlist: “Community Solutions Music From the Podcast!” You can listen to Roundabout from Yes after listing to Episode 30 on Roundabouts… or kick back and enjoy a rocking playlist just for the thrill of it. We add a new song every week. Subscribe and enjoy!

Don’t forget that you can also subscribe to our podcast on iTunes, Google Play, and Spotify!

April 19, 2021 at 10:27 pm Leave a comment

It Ain’t Easy Being Green


Podcast Audio: https://commsolutionsmn.libsyn.com/episode-206-it-aint-easy-being-green

YouTube: https://youtu.be/Xuq5TJsVNtw

Duluth mayor, Emily Larson, recently gave her state of the city address. She boldly stated that she wants the city to become the greenest in the country. One huge problem… it will kill the city. Over decades, Duluth has driven out industry (Clyde Iron, Diamond Tool. etc), and this will only get worse under the types of policies that Mayor Larson wants to implement.

They received $60 million in pandemic relief, which some of will go to their new community policing 2.0 effort. They want to do a racial bias audit of the department and bring in counselors, social workers, and the like, for feel-good, soft on crime approach. She wants to implement a non-emergency 3-1-1 line, that could promote tattling on your neighbors. They want to pay benefits to broadband companies to bring competition to the area. What? Shouldn’t other companies come on their own if it was a good business market? They give away land to developers. They want to expand public transportation. It’s a city gone nuts off the left end, and you need to understand what they are doing, because it will sift down to smaller cities. Be prepared now.

We also discuss the recent controversy around concussions (a-la Aaron Hernandez), and whether it would have changed how we play sports or not, if we had known about the possibility of dementia later in life.

Have you checked out our Spotify playlist? At the beginning of each episode, Jason quotes some song lyrics that have to do with the subject matter of the podcast. Andrew never knows what they are, but now he can… and so can you! We’ve launched the Spotify playlist: “Community Solutions Music From the Podcast!” You can listen to Roundabout from Yes after listing to Episode 30 on Roundabouts… or kick back and enjoy a rocking playlist just for the thrill of it. We add a new song every week. Subscribe and enjoy!

Don’t forget that you can also subscribe to our podcast on iTunes, Google Play, and Spotify!

April 12, 2021 at 11:57 pm Leave a comment

Science Deniers… The Lot Of You


Transgender student receives $300K settlement over discrimination dispute  involving Anoka-Hennepin School District | KSTP.com

Podcast Audio: https://commsolutionsmn.libsyn.com/episode-205-science-deniersthe-lot-of-you

YouTube: https://youtu.be/tbIWIbp24zc

Recently, the Anoka-Hennepin school district was sued for $300,000 from a transgender female student that wanted the right to change in the boys locker room, despite having a separate space provided for her. She is a fourteen year old child that doesn’t have the freedom to get a tattoo, buy cigarettes, or drive a car. Yet, politicians, school districts, and businesses want to give then the right to make permanent, life-changing decisions without notifying parents. These “academics” have confused the issue so much, that it’s a wonder that any of our children escape adolescence intact. The student won the lawsuit, thanks to her lawyer from the ACLU, David McKinney. This amazing attorney said that he hopes that the $300,000 settlement “puts every other school district in Minnesota on notice”. That sounds like a threat to me.

We have seen the problems caused in the locker rooms, in sports, and in prison. There are so many recorded assaults in women’s prisons by men that identify as women. MMA fighter, Fallon Fox, broke the skull of opponent, Tamika Brents. Tamika says that she’s never been dominated like that. Normally, we’d call that battery or abuse. Transgender boys are dominating in high school track meets. It’s happening here. There have also been cases in many other places across the US like Pennsylvania, Oregon, and Virginia. Madison, WI schools allows for students to pick new names and pronouns, and are prohibited from telling parents or guardians about it. Highland Local School District in Ohio, was faced with a suit about equal access to any bathroom. How do we stop this now that we’ve started down the slippery slope? We’re losing a generation of our kids to this destructive doctrine. Our whole world feels upside down. Can we fix things before we are past the point of no return?

Have you checked out our Spotify playlist? At the beginning of each episode, Jason quotes some song lyrics that have to do with the subject matter of the podcast. Andrew never knows what they are, but now he can… and so can you! We’ve launched the Spotify playlist: “Community Solutions Music From the Podcast!” You can listen to Roundabout from Yes after listing to Episode 30 on Roundabouts… or kick back and enjoy a rocking playlist just for the thrill of it. We add a new song every week. Subscribe and enjoy!

Don’t forget that you can also subscribe to our podcast on iTunes, Google Play, and Spotify!

April 4, 2021 at 11:50 pm Leave a comment

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