Red Lake Nation News - Babaamaajimowinan (Telling of news in different places)

St. Paul must stop assessing for street repairs, judge rules

The judge said charges for street maintenance work should be considered taxes, not fees


Leila Navidi, Star Tribune

Street service worker Bradley Therres smooths asphalt over a pothole on Shepard Road.

St. Paul cannot keep charging individual property owners for routine maintenance of streets abutting their property, a Ramsey County district judge has ruled.

The decision Monday could leave the city with a multimillion-dollar hole in its budget, raising conversations similar to those that followed a 2016 Minnesota Supreme Court ruling that forced St. Paul to overhaul the way it funds street upkeep. That ruling led to a 20% property tax increase in 2018, when the city shifted about $20 million in street maintenance costs from assessment bills to tax bills.

St. Paul continued to charge property owners for a handful of services - lighting, sweeping, mill and overlay, and seal coating - based on how much of their land borders the streets receiving the work.


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