Petition filed Sept. 1 to City of Crystal to allow vote on property tax increase

September 2, 2009 at 5:59 pm Leave a comment


Community Solutions took the charge of gathering the required 520 signatures needed to allow Crystal residents a vote on the city’s proposed special property tax levy to finance the Cty. Rd. 81 reconstruction project. Below is a copy of the press release we issued September 2:

Community Solutions Minnesota submits petition signatures to allow Crystal citizens a vote on County Rd. 81 reconstruction property tax increase

CRYSTAL, MN, Sept. 2, 2009 – Community Solutions Minnesota organized a petition and gathered enough signatures to allow Crystal citizens the opportunity to vote on the County Rd. 81 reconstruction property tax levy. The Crystal City Council authorized up to $2.6 million in bonds to pay for the city’s part of the road project. To repay the bonds, the council proposed a special property tax levy above and beyond Minnesota’s current tax limit. A petition of 520 signatures was required to put this property tax increase to a November ballot vote. Otherwise, the bond issue would be put to a vote by six City Council members and the Mayor September 15. Community Solutions volunteers from Crystal gathered over 630 signatures in two weeks to meet the requirement.

The Crystal City Council approved a plan to widen County Rd. 81 to handle up to six lanes of traffic. The County threatened the City Council that County Rd. 81 would not be refinished if their plan was not accepted. Despite a large public outcry last year, Crystal’s City Council sided with Hennepin County’s wishes.

Many residents agree that County Rd. 81 is in terrible shape, and ignoring the condition of that road would be negligent on the County’s part. However, in the process of completing this project, many good families have lost their homes and many more will lose their homes and/or some property. A frontage road is going to be directed down a residential street, where there are a lot of children at play. This affects everyone in the city, as a special property tax increase is proposed to finance the project.

1)    The County will charge a special assessment of $524,650 (total) to property owners for the conversion of residential roads into frontage roads.

2)    The City of Crystal wishes to write bonds in the amount of $2,600,000 (not a final number). The County will buy these bonds at no interest, but the payback will come in the form of a property tax levy against property owners.

Signing this petition indicated that regardless of how citizens feel about the County Rd. 81 reconstruction, over 630 residents told the City of Crystal that they disapprove of an involuntary property tax levy, and deserve the chance to vote on it first.

We will provide updates on this issue, and encourage Crystal residents to attend the City Council meeting on Tuesday, September 15.  You are also encouraged to contact your Crystal City Council members – find yours here.

Thanks to all of the Crystal resident volunteers who canvassed their neighborhoods. One volunteer alone gathered over 400 signatures!

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Entry filed under: Taxation, Uncategorized. Tags: , , , .

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