News Categories: General News

23 Aug
By: MAT Staff 0

MAT Announces David Hann as New Executive Director

The Minnesota Association of Townships is excited to announce that David W. Hann has been chosen as its new Executive Director.

David and his wife Anne are residents of Eden Prairie. They have four adult children and seven grandchildren.  He is a graduate of Gustavus Adolphus College with a degree in Religion and did graduate work at the University of Chicago Divinity School. He volunteered for service in the U.S. Army while in college and served a year in Vietnam. After college, he had a long career as a senior executive for a food manufacturing and distribution business. He was elected to three terms on the Eden Prairie School Board and served four terms in the Minnesota State Senate. While in the Senate, he served on the following Committees: Agriculture, Education, Judiciary, Finance, and Rules and was Chairman of the Health and Human Services Committee. He was elected by his peers in his last term to serve as the Senate Minority Leader.

“I am excited to begin work with the Minnesota Association of Townships. The Association provides a vital service in support of local township government. More and more today, there are efforts to drive decision making and governance to larger and more centralized authorities. For those of us who believe that this trend needs to be resisted, the Minnesota Association of Townships plays a critical role. By making sure townships have access to the resources they need and defending their interests in the state legislature, MAT is assuring the continuing effectiveness of local township governance and the preservation of an essential part of American life.”

David’s official start date at MAT is September 4. He will be introduced to members at the Legislative & Research meeting in St. Cloud on September 19-20.

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13 Aug
By: MAT Staff 0

Data Request from American Transparency

Townships across the state recently began receiving a data request from a group called American Transparency, (Minnesota@OpenTheBooks.com ) requesting employee income and other financial information under the Minnesota Data Practices Act. The organization is a private company operated out of Florida, that collects government data for publication on its website. The group is engaged in a nationwide data collection operation.

First, remember that Minnesota Townships outside the Twin Cities metropolitan area are not subject to the State’s Data Practices Act because of its complexity and townships’ lack of full-time staff to comply with the Act. Townships outside the Twin Cities area are not required to respond to this request, but your township board should decide what, if anything, they choose to send.

Townships in the Twin Cities area that are subject to the Data Practices Act may need to respond, depending on their policies for the format or method of data requests.These townships should rely on their township attorney for guidance in complying with data requests.

Townships are not required to produce any new data or compile the data in the format or method requested. Townships may send the data they already possess after redacting sensitive information such as Social Security Numbers, bank account numbers, home addresses, personal phone numbers, the deductions in any paycheck, or other information deemed to be not public.

Non-metro Townships may charge a fee for the compilation of data, including the clerk’s time to meet the request. Non-metro townships may ask the money be deposited in advance, with any surplus returned when the response to the data request is complete.

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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

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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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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12 Dec
By: MAT Staff 0

What You Need to Know for the 2020 Census: Organizing for a Complete Count Workshop

Census 2020: Seminars to help counties Insure a complete count.

It may seem hard to believe, but it’s already time to begin planning for the 2020 Census. Census Day is April 1, 2020, and counties and local governments need to begin organizing to insure that everybody in their jurisdictions gets counted.

AMC, along with the League of Minnesota Cities, the MN School Boards Association, MN Association of Townships and service cooperatives across the state have scheduled a series of nine regional seminars that covers what local governments need to do to insure a complete count.

There’s a lot that rides on Census data. Even one missed person could mean as much as $1,530 in lost federal funding each year of the decade in health, transportation, housing and education programs. It’s also used to apportion congressional districts, to draw county board and city council districts, and to help guide governments decisions.

The seminars will cover how to set up local “complete count committees,” a new concept in Minnesota, but one that has been in place for years in many other states. They are volunteer partnerships of local governments and key players – businesses, civic groups, faith communities, schools, cultural associations and interested citizens. Their job is to identify hard-to-count populations, and to develop and execute strategies for getting them counted in the 2020 Census.

The aim of the seminars is to give participants the data tools, best practices and a plan for promoting an accurate count in each area.

Registration Details: Free of charge, but registration is required.
Check-in window begins at 9:30 a.m.
Session time: 10:00 – 4:00 p.m.

2020 Census Flyer: Organizing for a Complete Count
Regional Seminars Flyers Complete Count Committees
Complete Count Committee Flyer

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28 Nov
By: MAT Staff 0

Application for the 2018 Noxious Weed and Invasive Plant grant now Available

The Minnesota Department of Agriculture is pleased to announce that the grant application has been approved for the 2018 Noxious Weed and Invasive Plant grant opportunity.

The grant application was officially posted on the MDA’s Noxious and Invasive Weed Program website on Monday (11/20) at this URL:   www.mda.state.mn.us/weedgrant

This page will also contain more information regarding the goals of this grant program, eligibility, requirements and funding specifics.

Noxious Weed and Invasive Plant Grant Proposal Application

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27 Nov
By: MAT Staff 0

Census 2020 LUCA News and Information

The Census Bureau recently posted an updated version of the LUCA Promotional Workshop presentation that we are now presenting to the public. This changes in this new version were appropriate now that we are shipping the invitation/registration materials and includes slides discussing the registration materials.

Thank you for your continued support! Please feel free to contact me if you have additional questions.
https://www2.census.gov/geo/pdfs/partnerships/luca/2020LUCA_PromoPresentation.pdf
https://www2.census.gov/geo/pdfs/partnerships/luca/2020LUCA_PromoScript.pdf

July 14, 2017

The Census Bureau will begin mailing the formal invitation/registration materials to the state, counties, townships, cities, and tribes in Minnesota beginning on July 14th. The full package will go to the Highest Elected Official of each entity and a CC letter will be sent to a variety of previously identified contacts including BAS contacts, clerks, planners, GIS contacts, etc. 

LUCA Flyer 2020 Census Local Update of Census Addresses Operation (LUCA)

LUCA Message Help the Census Bureau Accurately Count Your Community

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24 Nov
By: MAT Staff 0

MnDOT District 7 Grant Program

Federally funded transportation projects will be considered by the District 7 Area Transportation Partnership (ATP-7) for inclusion in the 2019-2022 Area Transportation Improvement Program (ATIP), using Surface Transportation Funds.

ATP-7 will be accepting applications for the following Surface Transportation Program (STP) program areas:

  1. STP Small Urban (City Streets/Bridges) – Projects are being solicited primarily for the year 2022 for city street and bridge (on the federal aid system) projects.  The federal funds can fund up to 80 percent of eligible project costs. Projects on city federal-aid routes may be proposed by the city involved.  Applicants must use the“District 7 STP Small Urban Funds” application form, which can be found on the ATP-7 website at the following link:  http://www.dot.state.mn.us/d7/atp/applications.html.
  1. STP Rural (County Roads/Bridges) – Projects are being solicited primarily for the year 2022 for county road and bridge (on the federal aid system) projects.  The federal funds can fund up to 80 percent of eligible project costs. Off-system bridges are being solicited through a separate process.  Applicants must use the “District 7 STP Rural (County Roads/Bridges)” form, which can be found on the ATP-7 website at the following link:  http://www.dot.state.mn.us/d7/atp/applications.html.
  1. Solicitation for the Transportation Alternatives Program kicked off in October with the release of the TA LOI (Letter of Intent).  If you are planning to submit a full TA application, or for more information on the TAP solicitation process, visit the ATP-7 website at http://www.dot.state.mn.us/d7/atp/applications.html.

All solicitations will require use of the newly designed forms found on the ATP-7 website.  Old forms will not be accepted.

The deadline for all applications is January 12, 2018.

Questions concerning this application process should be directed to Rebecca Arndt at 507-304-6196 or rebecca.arndt@state.mn.us

Applications (and required supporting documents/maps) can be submitted electronically or mailed directly to:

Rebecca Arndt, Principal Planner
MnDOT District 7
2151 Bassett Drive
Mankato, MN  56001-6888

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18 Oct
By: MAT Staff 0

MAT Policy in Support of Township Polling Places

In July the MAT Board of Directors passed a policy in general support of townships holding elections at their local polling place.
res_support_polling_places.pdf

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