This coverage is made possible by a grant from The Saint Paul Foundation.

Minneapolis looks at scrapping most business license-fee increases

A proposal to raise business license fees in Minneapolis by 3 percent next year apparently has been scrapped.

Instead, most business licenses would remain at the 2012 level, with the exception of 25 license categories that are classified as pollution-control fees, under a plan approved Monday in committee. Those fees, however, would go up 3 percent.

A plan to raise all business license fees by 3 percent was debated last month by members of the City Council’s Regulatory, Energy and Environment Committee. At that time, committee members delayed action on the increases and asked staff for more information about the cost of administering the licenses and the revenue from the fees.

On Monday, however, council members were told that the requested information would take considerable time to gather.

The across-the-board 3 percent increase in license fees would have generated $300,000. The revenue generated by increased pollution-control fees is estimated at $46,000, leaving Regulatory Services with a gap of more than $250,000 in its 2013 budget.

“That’s a gap we will have to close,” said Henry Reimer, assistant director of Regulatory Services.  Budget hearings are scheduled to begin next week.

Business licenses in Minneapolis are required for everything from the sale of items ranging from alcohol to motor vehicles and for activities ranging from operating a hotel or boarding house to running a grocery store. There is even a license fee for a going out-of-business sale.

Examples of increased pollution-control fees include: hazardous waste processor, from $1,230 in 2012 to $1,267; waste oil burner, from $55 to $56; and hazardous waste generator, from $273 to $281.

Public hearing on police review plan

A public hearing on the plan to change the current Minneapolis police-conduct review process in Minneapolis will be held at 1:30 p.m. Wednesday in the City Council Chambers.

Don Samuels, chair of the City Council Public Safety, Health and Civil Rights Committee, has not ruled out making changes to the proposed plan and did say Monday that “change is a very real prospect.”

The current process gives citizens two options to complain about police misconduct. They can file a complaint with the Civil Rights Department and have it investigated by that department and a Civilian Review Authority. Or they can take their complaint to the police department’s Internal Affairs Unit, where the investigation is conducted by police officers.

The proposed new system would eliminate the Civilian Review Authority and create an Office of Police Conduct Review, made up of investigators from the Civil Rights Department and sworn police officers.

The Civil Rights Department has conducted three public hearings on the topic. The Wednesday session will be the city council’s first.

You can also learn about all our free newsletter options.

No comments yet

Leave a Reply