After extensive consultation with our neighbors over the past few days, we are are moving ahead with a joint legal challenge to the City of St. Paul’s mill and overlay policy.
This is not a step we’ve taken lightly. From the beginning, our preferred path to resolution has been through constructive engagement with the city. But the city council’s failure to reform the system itself, even after a 2-month internal process which included zero public consultation, speaks volumes.
While we give full credit to those on the city council who brokered the current political compromise (based on moving the cost of ADA-compliant curbs to the general fund), the system itself has not changed. The city is still disguising a revenue raising exercise as a use of its police powers and circumventing Minnesota law, all so it can claim it’s not raising our property taxes.
Jack Hoeschler to represent appellants
We won’t be fighting alone. Many of our neighbors feel the exact same way. There will be more than 20 named appellants, representing at least 15 separate properties, listed on our appeal.
We’ll be represented as a group by Jack Hoeschler. If the name sounds familiar, that’s because Jack is the same attorney who successfully challenged the city’s Right of Way assessment in the Minnesota Supreme Court in 2016, in First Baptist Church of St. Paul v City of St. Paul.
Jack is an experienced attorney with a wealth of expertise in Real Estate tax valuation and special assessment appeals. We’re absolutely thrilled to have him representing us.
This from Jack:
“I am personally irritated that the City never seems to learn from prior mistakes. The Supreme Court told them they could not do this but they still persist. It is a shame that we have to sue them again to encourage good behavior. I am therefore happy to help everyone who feels similarly.”
We didn’t ask for this fight. We’ve already put in countless hours of our time, far in excess of the amount we were assessed, because we believe it’s important to stand up for our community, to advocate for a fair and sustainable distribution of our shared tax burden, and to insist that the City is held democratically accountable to its constituents.
Just as the 2016 legal challenge in First Baptist was needed to prompt the city to reconsider the old Right of Way policy, it will take a successful legal challenge to demonstrate to the city that they are operating outside the authority granted to them by Minnesota law, as well as the safeguards for taxpayers that go along with it.
If your property was subject to mill & overlay project in 2018 and you are interested in joining our appeal, head on over to our appeal page.