I hope everyone is having a wonderful holiday season! New Years Day is one of my favorite holidays, full of hope and possibility. Reflecting on the past year, I am incredibly grateful for our community and the opportunity to serve all of you in the legislature.
Below is some information I hope you find useful:
Pre-Payment of Property Taxes
As property owners and tax preparers work to figure out the ramifications of the recently passed federal tax bill, many Minnesotans have considered pre-paying their 2018 property taxes before the end of this year. If this includes you, Ramsey County has a Frequently Asked Questions website that may answer some of your questions here. Pre-payments would need to be received (not just postmarked) by December 29, 2017.
A reminder that, as with all tax questions, whether to pre-pay is dependent on multiple factors and may or may not be helpful to your household depending on your individual circumstances. Here is a recent article from Minnesota Public Radio regarding the topic, “Scrambling to Prepay 2018 Property Taxes? Maybe You Shouldn’t.”
Heating Assistance and Cold Weather Rules
The Minnesota Cold Weather Rule is now in effect. This rule protects residential utility customers from having their heat shut off during the winter months. More information is available here from the Public Utilities Commission.
For Minnesotans under certain income levels, help may also be available for payment of energy bills, help with utility disconnections or fuel deliveries, and advocacy with power companies. For more information please visit the Minnesota Department of Commerce’s website.
Tips on Saving Energy
For most households, energy use is especially high during this time of year. Recently, the Minnesota Department of Commerce sent out their “10 tips to save energy during the holidays.” That guide has some great suggestions on how to save energy – and money – this season.
Governor Dayton’s Taskforce on Affordable Housing
On December 21st, Governor Dayton announced a new task force to address affordable housing in Minnesota. Estimates are that more than 554,000 Minnesota households still struggle to afford quality housing, a 58 percent increase since 2000.
In order to have a truly thriving community, all residents must have access to stable, safe, and affordable housing. The Task Force on Housing will recommend policies and practices to help alleviate Minnesota’s housing challenges. You can read more about that here.
Outdoor neighborhood rinks are now open throughout Ramsey County. In addition, there is free indoor skating at some indoor Ramsey County rinks, including the Vadnais Sports Center. A link to the schedule and more details can be found here.
Thank you for reading and have a wonderful start to the New Year!