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Live Facebook chat on proposed Nov. 2 property tax hike sees criticism raised

Live Facebook chat on proposed Nov. 2 property tax hike sees criticism raised Live Facebook chat on proposed Nov. 2 property tax hike sees criticism raised


by Joseph Back

Whether the juice is worth the squeeze. Taken as a political metaphor, it roughly translates to, ‘is the payoff for something worth the costs involved?’ Those still wishing to register for voting in the November 2 can find details on ID and contact info below. But first, who or what is on the ballot?

Among those up this time around for review of elected officials is the local school board, while for those more interested in money issues a possible property tax hike will also be on the ballot.

Wait, did you just say ‘tax hike’?

That would be an affirmative— after all, ain’t no such thing as a free lunch. Somebody has to pay the costs for civic improvements, no matter what. Interested to parse the details yet?

We thought you might be.

Having spent much of the year touting the benefits to residents from a new community center off Highway 61, the clock is ticking down, so that having established a connection in resident’s minds, it was time to move on to the harder stuff—getting a willing funder for the proposed community center to be built across from Ravine Park off Highway 61.

To help make the sale, Mayor Bailey met with Cottage Grove Finance Director Robin Roland to hash out the details. So what are they?

Following a promotional video played by the city, things become somewhat clearer.

In the first place, the extra property tax impact to a home assessed at $300,000 is projected to be $15 a month, or $180 a year. This would break down as $14 for construction and $1 for maintenance, while city residents would receive a discounted fee to use the center. At the same time, it was noted in the Facebook Live chat that a growing population would spread this out over a greater number of taxpaying businesses and residents, meaning in theory a reduced individual cost per tax payer over time. Cost spread out, tends to decline. Among the non-monetary considerations, meanwhile, was one from the health care sector, reflected in comments.

“As a nurse, it seems like a bad idea to build something like this,” Jessica Rudy shared October 6. “We are currently in a pandemic and we should still be practicing social distancing. Why would we want this type of structure at this time. It makes no sense to bring people together.”

Should the referendum be approved—an ‘if’ the city was clear to accentuate in its live chat last month, the center would see a grand opening in 2024, or three years hence. But some still weren’t convinced.

“So those living on fixed incomes after paying off their homes in Thompson Grove should have to pay the same as the people building $600,000 homes on the north side of the city?” Asked KimiFloyd Reisch. The Thompson Grove neighborhood is located south of 80th Street and west of Highway 61 in general terms and was among the first parts of modern Cottage Grove to coalesce some six decades ago. There were also the more general tax comments.

“I just had my streets done that I am getting taxed on and now I’ll be taxed on this,” Timothy Monigold shared his thoughts on the propsosal. “So my house payment will go up.”Chris George was among those in favor, and had an answer related to such projected tax impacts.

“That’s what being in a community is all about,’ he said of the proposed center. “You pay taxes that support things that you might not necessarily personally use but it makes your community a better place.” The comment section may draw critics before praise as a general rule, but an initial assessment would suggest the city still has a lot of work to do, to get the majority of people behind the proposed community center.

For the immediate present, meanwhile, those wishing to vote are encouraged to register, while those who wait until Election Day can in general bring one of the following types of ID as these apply to the area:

• Valid Minnesota Driver’s License, learner’s permit or ID, or receipt for any of these.

• U.S. Passport

• U.S. Military or Veteran ID

• Tribal ID with name, signature and photo

• Minnesota university, college or technical college ID

• Minnesota high school ID

• Bill, lease agreement, or current student fee statement • Registered voter who can confirm your address

• Valid registration in the same precinct

• Notice of late registration • College student ID with housing list

• Staff person of a residential facility for ‘vouching’ “It’s your choice, so vote on or before November 2,” the city promotional video closes out its take on things. As the old adage goes, those who don’t vote, can’t complain— at least in the United States of America.

More information and help with registering to vote is available by calling 651215-1440 as phone contact for the metro area.

Should voters approve a $39.2 million bond referendum funded by property taxes this November 2, sports teams like these seen recently at 70th and Inwood could play indoors year round, regardless of the weather. Photo by Joseph Back

Pending voter approval of a $39.2 million bond, this hill across from Ravine Regional Park would be bulldozed to make way for a community center entrance. Photo by Joseph Back