News Categories: General News

08 Feb
By: MAT Staff 0

RRWMB and MN DNR 20th Annual Joint Conference

The Red River Watershed Management Board and Minnesota DNR invite you to the 20th Annual Joint Conference on March 21-22, 2018.

Location: Courtyard Marriott in Moorhead, MN.

Registration Fee:  None

 

Registration Link:

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLScAaHIyugJhgaQ6DctsZlYojgoDD22kmb1AlSTTEVTOxijpSw/viewform

 

Flyer:

http://www.rrwmb.org/Annual_Conference.html

Post expires at 2:29pm on Thursday March 22nd, 2018

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06 Feb
By: MAT Staff 0

Beware – Email Phishing Scams Sent to Towns!

MAT has received several reports of fraudulent emails asking the recipient to transfer money from the town’s account. The emails appear to be from another town officer but were not sent by the officer listed in the sender line. Town officers should verify email requests for money transfers, passwords, or other private information in-person or by phone with the alleged sender of the email, if ever faced with such a request. Remember, the information in an email, such as the person listed as the sender, can be misrepresented – just like the return address on a letter can be misrepresented.

“Phishing” is the practice of sending fraudulent emails to induce the recipient to reveal private information, like passwords, or to take an action that will harm the recipient. For more information, see Federal Trade Commission’s webpage on the subject, and the FBI’s information on computer security. Unfortunately, no amount of computer security can relieve us from remaining cautious and careful when using online resources, including emails that appear to be legitimate.

MAT’s 2018 Spring Short Course presentation for Clerks & Treasurers will also include basic information about computer and internet security.

 

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01 Feb
By: MAT Staff 0

Certified Stormwater Inspector Training in MN

The National Stormwater Center is offering Certified Stormwater Inspector (municipal) training in St. Paul, MN on April 16-17, 2018.

Designed specifically for municipal personnel our course offers training and certification to demonstrate, for the record, that inspectors are qualified.

Inspectors who take our course learn:

– how to inspect construction, commercial, and industrial, and municipal activities

– what to inspect

– the limits of their authority

– appropriate demeanor

– appropriate discretion

They also learn about the Clean Water Act, the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System, the six Minimum Control Measures, and how to better implement and support their MS4 stormwater program.

Graduates of the Certified Stormwater Inspector course receive certification for 5 years and continuing education units, and ongoing, unlimited support of the National Stormwater Center.  All of our instructors have stormwater enforcement experience at the Federal or State level.

Please download the announcement with course details and registration information.  Stormwater Inspector Training (St Paul)

You may call Michele at 1-888-397-9414, email info@npdes.com or visit our website at www.npdes.com.  Registration is available on our website for all classes.

Post expires at 4:19pm on Monday April 16th, 2018

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01 Feb
By: MAT Staff 0

Poison Hemlock now added to Updated 2018 Noxious Weeds List

See the commissioner’s order on this page approving NWAC’s recommendation for poison hemlock.  It is now a Prohibited Noxious Weed on the Eradicate List.  CAI’s, townships and cities make sure you let your constituents know about this change to the weed list.  State agencies should also pass this information to their field offices.  Also, remember that the 25 varieties of Japanese Barberry that were Specially Regulated are now Restricted Noxious Weeds.

Commissioner Order Noxious Weed List 2018_Signed

2018 MN Noxious Weed List Fact Sheet

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23 Jan
By: MAT Staff 0

No Town Meetings Feb. 6, 2018, after 6 pm!

February 6 is precinct caucus night in Minnesota. By law, local governments may not hold meetings on precinct caucus night after 6 pm. (Minn. Stat. 202A.19). Towns with meetings for that time may post notice of a meeting cancellation and reschedule the meeting as a special meeting if needed.

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15 Jan
By: MAT Staff 0

LCCMR seeking proposals for $59 million in project funding from Minnesota’s Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund

The Legislative-Citizen Commission on Minnesota Resources (LCCMR) has issued its 2019 Request for Proposals (RFP) for funding from Minnesota’s Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund. Approximately $59 million is available for projects that will provide multiple ecological and other public benefits. New this year is a focus on proposals for projects under $200,000, especially from local units of government and non- profits, that aim to quickly and efficiently provide environment and natural resource benefits in Minnesota.

The LCCMR is requesting proposals in the following categories:

  1. Foundational Natural Resource Data and Information
  2. Water Resources
  3. Environmental Education
  4. Aquatic and Terrestrial Invasive Species
  5. Air Quality, Climate Change, and Renewable Energy
  6. Methods to Protect or Restore Land, Water, and Habitat
  7. Land Acquisition, Habitat, and Recreation

2019 LCCMR RFP

The 2019 RFP (linked above) contains detailed instructions for submitting a proposal to the LCCMR as well as additional explanation of the LCCMR’s proposal and funding process. Anyone with a project idea consistent with the RFP may submit a proposal for consideration by the LCCMR. LCCMR staff are available to assist in proposal development and to review proposal drafts. Lobbying or professional grant-writing experience is not necessary for success.

Issuance of this RFP begins the competitive, multi-step process through which the LCCMR selects projects to recommend to the Minnesota Legislature for funding from the Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund. Proposals responding to the 2019 RFP are due Wednesday, April 11, 2018. In June 2018, the LCCMR will consider all proposals received and make final selection of projects to include in its recommendations to the legislature for the 2019 session. Funded projects can begin July 1, 2019.

For more information on the 2019 RFP and the LCCMR funding process, please visit http://www.lccmr.leg.mn.

Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund
The Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund is a permanent dedicated fund in the Minnesota state treasury that was established by 77% voter approval of a constitutional amendment in 1988. The amendment directs forty percent of the net proceeds of the Minnesota State Lottery, or approximately seven cents of every dollar spent on playing the lottery, into the Trust Fund. The Trust Fund is intended to provide a long-term, stable source of funding for innovative and far-sighted activities that protect and enhance Minnesota’s environment and natural resources for the benefit of current citizens and future generations. Since 1991, the Trust Fund has provided approximately $576 million in support of nearly 1,500 projects benefitting every county in the state.

Legislative-Citizen Commission on Minnesota Resources
The LCCMR is made up of 17 members (5 Senators, 5 Representatives, 5 citizens appointed by the governor, 1 citizen appointed by the Senate, and 1 citizen appointed by the House). The function of the LCCMR is to make funding recommendations to the Minnesota State Legislature for special environment and natural resource projects, primarily from the Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund. The LCCMR developed from a program initiated in 1963.

Post expires at 8:30am on Wednesday April 11th, 2018

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11 Jan
By: MAT Staff 0

Board of Appeal and Equalization Update

All local and county boards of appeal and equalization must have at least one trained member by February 1, 2018. If the board does not have a trained member by February 1, 2018, the board will be out of compliance and the powers of the board will be transferred for a minimum of two assessment years.

How long do I have to take the training?

Important: the training will be shut down at 5:00 pm on February 1, 2018. Until then, you have 24/7 access to the training and it can be completed at your own pace. It can take up to 5 business days for your login information to be generated, please be sure to plan your training accordingly.

How do I know if a board member needs to take the training?

There is an attendance roster located on our website that anyone can access to check the training status of board members. There is a list for local boards and a list for county boards. The lists are sorted by county. You can search the document and/or filter the data, which makes finding the information you need much easier. We update the attendance rosters every month, the most recent rosters are posted and were updated today (January 3, 2018).

County assessors will review the roster after February 1, 2018 to verify that there is a trained member for each jurisdiction that holds a local board of appeal and equalization meeting. If a jurisdiction does not have a trained member, the county assessor will schedule an open book meeting for 2018 and 2019.

The commissioner of revenue will review the roster after February 1, 2018 to verify that there is a trained member for each county board of appeal and equalization. If a county board does not have a trained member, the boards powers will be transferred to a special board for 2018 and 2019.

How do I access the training?

Visit our website for detailed instructions on how to register and access the training.

Below are some tips on how to navigate through the board of appeal and equalization online training.

  • What should I do if my completion status is showing as “in progress”, but I completed the training?
    • Please email the property tax division at proptax.bae@state.mn.us. We will manually set you as “completed” and you will be able to print your certificate. Do not re-register or take the training again, you just need to contact us and we will fix it.
  • What should I do if the screen prompts me to reset my password?
    • If your password has expired and the system is asking you to reset it, you should click on the link and follow the prompts to reset your password.
      If you are locked out of the system due to entering an incorrect password too many times, then you should email the property tax division at proptax.bae@state.mn.us. Please do not re-register when you have a password issue.
  • What should I do if the training does not open?
    • Check your computer settings to be sure your pop up blocker is disabled. If that does not fix the problem, please review the troubleshooting instructions posted to our website. If you continue to have issues please contact the property tax division at proptax.bae@state.mn.us
  • When do I have to complete the training by?
    • All training must be completed by 5:00pm on February 1, 2018. If you start the training prior to February 1, but do not finish it on time, you will not be marked as trained. You must complete the training in its entirety by February 1, 2018.

What if I have questions?

You can contact us at proptax.bae@state.mn.us or by calling 651-556-6091.

 

 

2017 Legislative Updates

There were some board of appeal and equalization related law changes that were enacted during the 2017 sessions of the Minnesota Legislature. The omnibus tax bill was signed into law on May 30, 2017. Below are the changes that will take effect for the 2018 board of appeal season:

  • Local and County Boards of Appeal and Equalization do not have to provide proof of a trained member. Boards must still comply with the training requirement by February 1 but no longer have to submit a Trained Member Certification Form to the assessor and/or Commissioner of Revenue.
  • Local and County Boards of Appeal and Equalization must have a trained member by February 1 to maintain their board powers and to hold a meeting. If a board does not comply with the February 1 date, the board will lose their board powers for a minimum of two assessment years.
  • County Boards of Appeal and Equalization (CBAE) cannot make any valuation or classification changes to a property if the owner has refused the assessor access to the property for an inspection. Note: this is also true for Local Boards of Appeal and Equalization (LBAE), however that is not a new law, this restriction has been in place for LBAEs and now places the same restrictions on CBAEs.
  • County Boards of Appeal and Equalization no longer are required to send meeting minutes to the Commissioner of Revenue. The meeting minutes should remain at the county office and should be provided to the department upon request, if a review is needed.

For more information on 2017 law changes you can review the 2017 Property Tax Law Summary which can be found on the MN Department of Revenue website.

 

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20 Dec
By: MAT Staff 0

IRS news release regarding the 2018 federal mileage rates

You can view the following information at https://www.irs.gov/newsroom/standard-mileage-rates-for-2018-up-from-rates-for-2017

IR-2017-204, Dec. 14, 2017
WASHINGTON ― The Internal Revenue Service today issued the 2018 optional standard mileage rates used to calculate the deductible costs of operating an automobile for business, charitable, medical or moving purposes.

Beginning on Jan. 1, 2018, the standard mileage rates for the use of a car (also vans, pickups or panel trucks) will be:
• 54.5 cents for every mile of business travel driven, up 1 cent from the rate for 2017.
• 18 cents per mile driven for medical or moving purposes, up 1 cent from the rate for 2017.
• 14 cents per mile driven in service of charitable organizations.

The business mileage rate and the medical and moving expense rates each increased 1 cent per mile from the rates for 2017. The charitable rate is set by statute and remains unchanged.

The standard mileage rate for business is based on an annual study of the fixed and variable costs of operating an automobile. The rate for medical and moving purposes is based on the variable costs.

Taxpayers always have the option of calculating the actual costs of using their vehicle rather than using the standard mileage rates.

A taxpayer may not use the business standard mileage rate for a vehicle after using any depreciation method under the Modified Accelerated Cost Recovery System (MACRS) or after claiming a Section 179 deduction for that vehicle. In addition, the business standard mileage rate cannot be used for more than four vehicles used simultaneously. These and other requirements are described in Rev. Proc. 2010-51.

Notice 2018-03, posted today on IRS.gov, contains the standard mileage rates, the amount a taxpayer must use in calculating reductions to basis for depreciation taken under the business standard mileage rate, and the maximum standard automobile cost that a taxpayer may use in computing the allowance under a fixed and variable rate plan.

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20 Dec
By: MAT Staff 0

Local Government Innovation Award Winners

Sunrise Township in Chisago County was the overall winner in the Township category for spearheading an effort to bring Broadband to their township residents.

Other winners were:

Oxford Township, Isanti County — Water Monitoring Project

Township Maintenance Association, Renville County —Townships Working Together (Ericson, Hawk Creek, Sacred Heart & Wang Townships)

Mission Township, Crow Wing County — Park Expansion

Clearwater Township, Wright County — 2016 Gravel Road Improvement Project

The awards will be presented on December 7 at the at the Humphrey School of Public Affairs. Congratulations to all the winners!

Learn about all the award winners

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14 Dec
By: MAT Staff 0

2018 MNDNR Parks and Trails Applications

The Department of Natural Resources (DNR) announces grant funding opportunities for park and trail projects across Minnesota. Applications are now being accepted for the following grant programs: outdoor recreation, regional trail, local trail connections and federal recreational trails.

These grants help local governments throughout the state create partnerships with the DNR to fund projects ranging from local parks, regional trails to trail connections. Eligibility requirements, deadlines, and other details can be found on the DNR Web site at mndnr.gov or on the following program links:
Outdoor Recreation Grant Program (Updated for 2018)
Federal Recreational Trail Program (Updated for 2018)
Regional Trail Grant Program (Updated for 2018)
Local Trail Connections Grant Program (Updated for 2018)

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