Becoming More Transparent

December 15, 2016 at 11:51 am

One of the most crucial attributes of a successful industry today is transparency.  As technology develops and sustainability increases, the emphasis on transparency in real estate will only grow. A recent Real Views article explores how greater transparency efforts are shaping real estate markets around the globe.

The article states that a greater push for transparency from bodies such as the World Economic Forum is helping to expose corrupt building practices. Increasingly widespread access to data and technology such as property market apps also hold companies and people more accountable for their actions. The article explains that commercial real estate investment across the world likely exceed $1 trillion within a decade, and greater transparency allows developers, investors, and tenants to know where their money is going and trust the industry.

Fortunately, we in the U.S. enjoy more transparency than many nations and provide a light for them to follow, but we still have a need for greater transparency too – in government taxation and budgeting.

Currently, Minnesota’s Truth-in-Taxation law requires local governments to annually inform property owners about possible tax rates based on their upcoming budgets. This includes written notification as well as public hearings. The overall goal of Truth-in-Taxation is to increase citizen awareness on the relationship between local government budgeting and property taxes and encourage greater engagement. Media outlets often encourage participation but only a small number of people do. As of now, the process remains opaque and unpopular largely because opportunities for citizen input occur too late in the budgeting process to have meaningful impact.

A study by the Citizens League will shed more light on the need for greater transparency in local government budgeting and make specific recommendations. I look forward to sharing that information with you soon. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me.

– Quinn Cheney, Director of Public Policy

Entry filed under: Public Policy | Government Affairs.

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