Updated: 08/13/2013 6:43 AM KSTP.com By: Jay Kolls
Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak is leaning toward reducing the city's portion of the property tax levy, according to sources.
It would be the first levy reduction by the city in about 20 years, and there is a major political force at city hall pushing for the tax break.
City Council President Barb Johnson tells 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS she, and other council members, want the mayor to reduce the levy for 2014. When asked if the mayor is listening to her, Johnson replied, "Oh, I think so. I think so. I think we will be pleased with his message."
Mayor Rybak delivers his final budget address this Thursday, and Johnson expects he will follow through and lower the property tax levy. Johnson says an increase in State aide by about $12 million from last year and an increase in downtown population has expanded the tax base making the next budget ripe for property tax relief.
This, Johnson says, can be done despite the large amount of borrowing the city is doing to help finance major downtown development projects.
The mayor's office did not confirm there will be a property tax levy reduction in the mayor's budget. A spokesperson told us, "You will have to wait to hear about the levy on Thursday."
This is an election year for most city council members, and Rybak is often talked about as a possible candidate for governor again in the future. So, a property tax cut heading into 2014 as an exiting mayor would also be good to have in campaign literature for a future run at the Governor's Office.