Wednesday, May 22, 2013
What's your take on Minnesota's higher cigarette and income taxes, same-sex marriage law, all-day kindergarten funding, gun control measures, minimum wage and more?
What do you like—or dislike—in what the Minnesota Legislature did or didn't do? Leave a comment below. The Star Tribune posted a handy list of issues the Minnesota Legislature did and didn't tackle in the session that ended Monday at midnight. Love 'em? Hate 'em? Leave a comment below. DID: DIDN'T DO: See the full post at startribune.com. Which actions the Minnesota Legislature took do you support or oppose? Leave a comment below.
Friday, February 1, 2013
With the park fund running out of money—again—the city is discussing a more-reliable way to support Hopkins parks.
Seven sets of Hopkins playground equipment will be more than 20 years old by 2015. The city’s picnic shelters and warming houses are between 30 and 50 years old. The Harley Hopkins warming house was built in 1959. Overall, Hopkins parks are “drab” compared to neighboring communities, Park Board members told the City Council on Tuesday. “I think we’re a little behind the curve, to be blunt,” Park Board Member Tom Jenny said. Yet the city doesn’t have the money to fix them up right now. While the park fund grew in 2012 it’s predicted to be in the hole by 2014, even assuming a maintenance schedule that does little in the way of big improvements. Consequently, Park Board members are asking the City Council to consider increased park fees that …
Monday, January 28, 2013
More than 100 reader comments have been made since governor's plan unveiled last week.
When Gov. Mark Dayton last week unveiled a proposed state budget and tax plan that would, among other things, lower Minnesota's sales tax from 6.875 percent to 5.5 percent, the plan sparked a vigorous debate among Patch readers. Patch has had more than 100 reader comments on our story that asked people to take our poll, then share their thoughts on Dayton's tax and budget plan. Here's a sampling of some of the comments: George P. Burdell: A simplistic response to this comment would then be; Democrats want to clean out our wallets and institute socialisim... which really worked well for the USSR...hmmm. Brad Koehn: I'll be curious to see if Minnesotans spend enough on clothing worth more than $100 to bring in $2B in revenue. I'm a bit …
Tuesday, January 8, 2013
AccountAbility Minnesota is offering assistance at 13 sites across the metro starting Jan. 27.
Could you use some help filing your taxes? Do you want to learn more about what public benefits you might qualify for? AccountAbility Minnesota is offering assistance at 13 locations throughout Minneapolis, St. Paul and the suburbs—including ResourceWest in Hopkins. The St. Paul organization is offering free tax preparation and e-file, free savings accounts, low-cost prepaid debit cards, credit reports, financial planning and benefits screening. AccountAbility Minnesota will be offering tax help and screening for public benefits at ResourceWest (915 Mainstreet, Hopkins) at 5:30 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays and 8:30 a.m. Saturdays from Jan. 27 to April 16. The services are available to those who fit the following income guidelines: People …
Friday, January 4, 2013
With so many challenges on the table, Patch wants to know what issues you think are most important.
With another legislative session just around the corner, senators and representatives have no shortage of challenges ahead of them. Lawmakers plan to convene hearings on gun control in the wake of the school shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, CT. They’ll review a recommendation from a governor-appointed task force to increase gas taxes and tab fees in response to a projected $50 billion shortfall in transportation funding. The DFL majority and defeat of the marriage amendment in the 2012 election could even prompt the Legislature to take up the issue of gay marriage. And looming over everything is a projected $1.1 billion deficit that legislators will have to close before adjourning for the year. With so many issues on the …
Friday, December 7, 2012
Business officials admit DFL majority makes them "a bit nervous."
As predictably as the sun rises in the east, the latest annual legislative agenda of the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce is calling on state lawmakers to reform state spending and taxation. But what will be different when state lawmakers next month convene their 2013 session is that a single political party, the DFL, will control the executive and legislative branches for the first time since 1990. And that worries Chamber leaders. Especially following news this week that Minnesota faces a projected $1.1 billion budget shortfall in 2014-15 and Gov. Mark Dayton is likely to push for raising income taxes on the state's top wage earners, according to a Pioneer Press report. "I'm nervous about that and a lot of other business owners are too…
Wednesday, October 3, 2012
Barack Obama and Mitt Romney duked it out in Denver, CO.
Barack Obama and Mitt Romney duked it out tonight in their first presidential debate in Denver, Colorado. Patch live-blogged the debate, which featured the candidates touching on domestic issues like health care, PBS funding, and America's energy sources. You can watch the entire debate on YouTube Politics. Some of the points that resonated with our live-blog panelists were split on who came out on top: Here's a sampling of responses on Twitter:
Wednesday, July 25, 2012
With major projects ahead for city facilities, Patch wants to know when you think Hopkins should rely on private organizations to foot the bill.
2017 is looking to be an expensive year for the Hopkins Center for the Arts. Expected projects for that year alone include a $5,000 information desk and kiosk, $138,510 in theater seat and back replacements and $220,000 worth of heating, ventilation and air conditioning units. Such expenses aren’t a foregone conclusion. If the existing equipment exceeds its expected lifespan, Hopkins will be able to delay some of those purchases. Still, the facility has some major costs ahead. Mayor Gene Maxwell suggested there might be a way around that, though. With the projects still five years out, the arts board could raise private donations to fund some of the projects. Individuals or businesses could sponsor a seat, for example. Partnerships with …
Saturday, April 21, 2012
Tips from the IRS on what to do if you missed this year’s tax deadline.
Saturday, April 21, 2012
(The following news release comes from IRS spokeswoman Carrie Resch.) The IRS has some advice for taxpayers who missed the tax filing deadline. More information can be found at www.irs.gov.
Monday, September 19, 2011
Hopkins' congressional rep, along with Rep. Betty McCollum (DFL-MN) asks IRS to assist LGBT couples when filing their taxes.
Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN) joined 4th Congressional District Rep. Betty McCollum (DFL-MN) in urging the IRS to provide same sex couples with assistance when filing their tax returns, according to an article in The Minnesota Independent. Same-sex couples who have legal relationships in at least 15 states through marriage, civil unions and domestic partnerships aren’t recognized by the federal government because of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), according to the article. This makes filing taxes much more complicated for those couples because of the inconsistencies between the states and federal laws. The letter stated: “The IRS has the ability to provide specific guidance to ease the complexity and uncertainty surrounding these couples…