Minneapolis considering move to boost candidate filing fees

Just a month after Minneapolis’ crowded 35-candidate mayoral election, there’s a move to boost dramatically the city’s $20 filing fee for the office to $500.

A proposed amendment to the City Charter also would raise the $20 fee for City Council candidates to $250 and for those running for the Park Board or the Board of Estimate and Taxation to $100.

State law provides the option of gathering signatures on a petition to bypass the filing fee.

Those running for mayor would need 500 signatures to get on the ballot. City Council candidates would need a number of signatures equal to 5 percent of the votes cast in their ward during the previous election.

The filing fees are required to be in the City Charter because state law sets the fees at $20 unless a city charter provision specifies some other fee.

The City Council has 30 days to vote on the matter following Thursday’s short public hearing on the topic.

If it is adopted by a formal vote at the last meeting of the year, Dec. 13, the next council, which takes office Jan. 6, will need to vote on the matter after the recently approved plain-language charter amendment becomes law on Jan. 1, 2015.

One of the provisions of the plain-language charter amendment is that the current charter is voided when the new one becomes law.

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