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Green Acres Property tax law gets pruned


Fri, Feb 18th, 2011
Posted in Commentary

By Jeremy Miller, State Senator for Minnesota District 31

In addition to the primary tasks of balancing the budget and putting more Minnesotans back to work, there are a number of other initiatives that we are occupied with in St. Paul. Within our committees, we are consistently working to improve the way government runs, with the hope of improving the quality of life for all Minnesotans. This work includes reviewing, reforming and even repealing existing legislation. Often times, the ideas to do so are brought to us by concerned citizens just like you.

I'm writing today to discuss one such item for reform-the Green Acres Program. Throughout my campaign, many people voiced their concern with the recent changes to this 40-year old program. For many years, Green Acres appeared to be working well. Changes in 2008 and 2009 changed that. As I visited in recent years with citizens, farmers, landowners and leaders, I learned quickly that something needed to be done regarding the changes to the program.

I am proud to say that I have chief-authored and introduced legislation with bi-partisan legislative co-authors. This bill intends to fix the problematic changes that were made to the Green Acres program in 2008 and 2009.

Green Acres was originally passed in 1967 under a simple premise with a noble intention: protect farmers from rising property taxes due to nearby commercial and residential development. The concept was clear- as land value goes up, so do property taxes. However, the application and consequences were not as clear. Due to varying geographic landscapes around our state, and inconsistent application by counties and local officials, this well-intended policy eventually created confusion and frustration. A 2008 Legislative Auditor's Report prompted lawmakers to modify the program.

Legislators altered Green Acres by instituting the Rural Preserve Program. This addition created a new classification due to perceptions that some of the originally enrolled land may not have been the type of land the legislation was intended to protect. Rural Preserve called on owners of previously classified "non-productive" farm land to either enroll the land into a conservation program or choose higher taxes.

These changes created additional costs, inconsistent application, and significant increases in property taxes for many land owners. Many county assessors weren't able to consistently categorize "non-production" and "p .....
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A new way of being

Mon, Feb 14th, 2011
Posted in Commentary

Deer appear in our yard in Preston at dusk and dawn and sometimes during the day. They eat the bark of our trees, nibble the needles of our evergreens, eat the sunflower seeds we put out for the birds and, in the summer, help themselves to our garde ..... 
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A new way of being

Mon, Feb 14th, 2011
Posted in Commentary

Deer appear in our yard in Preston at dusk and dawn and sometimes during the day. They eat the bark of our trees, nibble the needles of our evergreens, eat the sunflower seeds we put out for the birds and, in the summer, help themselves to our garde ..... 
[Read the Rest]

One moment, please... Our president

Mon, Feb 14th, 2011
Posted in Commentary

Publisher of the Fillmore County Journal, cell phone: 507-251-5297

In my opinion, our president doesn't get paid enough! As matter of fact, our president doesn't get paid at all. No, I'm not talking about the President of the United States of ..... 
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One Moment, Please... Our president

Sat, Feb 12th, 2011
Posted in Commentary

In my opinion, our president doesn't get paid enough! As matter of fact, our president doesn't get paid at all. No, I'm not talking about the President of the United States of America. Obama clears over $400,000 per year - for the rest of his life. ..... 
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A new way of being

Sat, Feb 12th, 2011
Posted in Commentary

Deer appear in our yard in Preston at dusk and dawn and sometimes during the day. They eat the bark of our trees, nibble the needles of our evergreens, eat the sunflower seeds we put out for the birds and, in the summer, help themselves to our garde ..... 
[Read the Rest]

Rep. Davids responds to State of the State Address

Sat, Feb 12th, 2011
Posted in Commentary

ST. PAUL - State Representative Greg Davids (R-Preston) said Governor Mark Dayton gave an interesting State of the State Address on the floor of the Minnesota House of Representative recently.

Davids said the governor outlined many areas whe ..... 
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One Moment Please - Cruelty to Animals?

Fri, Feb 4th, 2011
Posted in Commentary

Publisher of the Fillmore County Journal, cell phone: 507-251-5297

This past week has been interesting to say the least. On Monday, I received a phone call from someone in Wykoff expressing their concern for an advertisement that ran in the M ..... 
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View of America Watching America

Fri, Feb 4th, 2011
Posted in Commentary

Have you ever wondered what people in other parts of the world think of us Americans? Perhaps you've travelled to another country and gotten a feel for this. And you've likely heard stories about how nasty the French can be, especially to Americans ..... 
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