Posts filed under ‘Nexus Project’

The Pioneer Press Agrees: Time for Fresh Look at Truth in Taxation

By Quinn Cheney, Director of Public Policy

As you may have read in my recent blog post, a new study released by Citizens League and commissioned by NAIOP Minnesota reveals the need for reform in the current local government budgeting system, particularly Truth in Taxation. Shortly after it was released in late January, Citizens League Executive Director Sean Kershaw and I met with Pioneer Press editors to provide context and insight regarding the study.  On February 8, the Pioneer Press published an editorial spotlighting the study, its results and how the current Truth in Taxation system could be improved.

The Citizen League report was commissioned in 2015 as part of NAIOP Minnesota’s efforts to improve transparency in the local government budgeting process. Previously, we had worked with the city of Edina to help its taxpayers better understand how this metro municipality spent its money. The study provided us with the opportunity to show local leaders how they may take the next logical step in improving the overall budgeting process.

I encourage you to check out the article (which features yours truly). While you’re at it, you can download the Citizens League study results here and learn more about how Minnesota can make the Truth in Taxation process more accessible and transparent for its citizens. As always, if you have any questions, please feel free to contact me.

February 9, 2017 at 1:15 pm

Pioneer Press Editorial: Change is coming

Change is coming. Clarity on spending, taxing will inform a stronger debate.

“The Citizens League has agreed informally to serve as a neutral “convener” of a discussion among those who have a stake in transparent public budgets — including city and county representatives, taxpayers and public-union representatives, for example — after the 2015 legislative session.

The league’s role was recently announced by the Minnesota Chapter of NAIOP, the commercial real estate development association, which has worked hard for several years to advance an approach that would have government units add detail to their traditional reporting on spending.”

Read more

December 12, 2014 at 12:52 pm

Citizens League to Join with NAIOP

CitizensLeague_logoCitizens League to Join with NAIOP in Exploring Need for Greater Transparency in Reporting of Local Government Spending

A 60-year old nonpartisan policy development group, the Citizens League has committed to work with NAIOP in assessing the level of interest of Minnesota taxpayers and other key private and public stakeholders-the League of Minnesota Cities, the Minnesota Association of Counties, public employee unions and others-in having access to much more detailed information on current spending decisions and year-over-year trends in spending by local jurisdictions than is currently readily available.

Read more

December 4, 2014 at 5:11 pm

Update: Transparency Initiative

NAIOP’s transparency proposal gets attention from statewide newspapers

Our View: Improve Taxpayers’ Ability to Know
Duluth News Tribune, January 14, 2014

Our View: Legislature, Support East Access to Tax Policy
Property owners deserve increased transparency
St. Cloud Times, February 2, 2014

Legislation May Change Government Budget Reporting
Dakota County Tribune, January 23, 2014

“The effort was a success to the extent that it provided useful information to those taxpayers, and based on the feedback received at the meeting to discuss it, I think they did find it useful.”
Matt Smith, Dakota County Finance Director

February 25, 2014 at 4:45 pm

Minnesota Taxpayers Association rebrands as Minnesota Center for Fiscal Excellence






The new name better reflects the 87-year-old organization’s role in providing researched-based fiscal policy. Three new reports will be out in the coming weeks:

  • Minnesota’s national rankings on various tax, spending and competitiveness indexes
  • Minnesota’s changing price of government
  • Multi-state individual income tax comparison and rankings

For years, NAIOP Minnesota has depended on the MCFE for information and analysis on Minnesota’s fiscal policy. In particular, NAIOP’s Nexus Task Force thanks MCFE for their research and guidance.

Visit their website:

January 31, 2013 at 1:58 pm

The St. Paul Pioneer Press continues to be a strong supporter of NAIOP Minnesota’s expenditure type reporting initiative

Here’s what they had to say about Senator Ted Daley of Eagan, the chief Senate author of NAIOP Minnesota’s expenditure type reporting legislation in the 2012 session:

“Ted Daley, in addition to his military background, is a certified public accountant with an MBA from the University of St. Thomas. He was chief Senate author of proposed legislation to require cities and counties to report more budget information in a way that helps citizens spot local spending trends. That measure got our attention — and support — and we hope to see it considered again in 2013.”

Read the editorial.

October 30, 2012 at 11:15 am

With each passing day, the pension problem grows

From a study to determine the amount of additional money that would have to be devoted annually to state and local pensions systems to achieve full funding in 30 years, a standard period over which governments target fully funded pensions:

  • On average, a tax increase of $1,385 per U.S. household per year would be required. For some states, the number is much higher, including Minnesota where it’s $1,928.

From the Washington Post, reprinted in the St. Paul Pioneer Press, October 25, 2012

Read the full article.

October 30, 2012 at 11:13 am

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