04-0099R

RESOLUTION ESTABLISHING THE CITY'S LEGISLATIVE PRIORITIES FOR THE 2004 SESSION OF THE MINNESOTA STATE LEGISLATURE; COMPLEMENTING RESOLUTION 03-0889.

BY COUNCILOR NESS:

WHEREAS, the city administration and council wish to establish a clear set of priorities for legislative action during the 2004 legislative session; and

WHEREAS, there have been several meetings devoted to discussing city legislative concerns and priorities and a former Resolution 03-0889 addressing the issue; and

WHEREAS, the administration and council choose to express support for a number of projects which will benefit the community while indicating whether the city will assume a lead role or a supporting role or will simply express its support for a funding request.

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the legislative objectives of the city of Duluth for the year 2004 include the following:
Housing legislative initiatives:
Support the modification of the 1995 Minnesota state legislation that provides "relative homestead" property tax status for homes purchased by parents to house their college children and other students. This tax break, currently claimed by up to 800 households in Duluth, has been an incentive for conversion of single-family homes to rental occupancy. A helpful language change would be to restrict this tax break to "vacation homes" such as cabins.
Maintain or expand current levels of government funding for affordable housing production, rehabilitation, and preservation currently available through the Minnesota housing finance agency.
Increase the state's bonding resources for development of affordable housing, including the state's general obligation bonds.
Support Governor Pawlenty's proposed $20 million in state bonding for the construction and rehabilitation of supportive housing.
Support a modification of the 2003 4-d property tax law changes, which adversely affects affordable housing providers by requiring that all properties be valued at the highest possible property value. This law is a great disincentive for those seeking to ameliorate our affordable housing crises because of the severe tax increases.

FURTHER RESOLVED, that city staff and elected officials will take the lead role in advancing these initiatives during the 2004 legislative session.

FURTHER RESOLVED, that the administration and council express support for the following legislative initiative:
Other legislative positions:
The council supports legislation on ATV law enforcement and trail restoration - a bill co-sponsored by Representative Jaros.
The council opposes the so-called taxpayers bill of rights legislation.
The council supports full funding of the local government aid program.


STATEMENT OF PURPOSE:  This resolution sets forth more of the city's legislative priorities for the 2004 session of the Minnesota legislature.