Ramsey County’s Housing and Redevelopment Authority (HRA) will be able to levy about $11.1 million in property taxes starting in 2022. The County Board gave unanimous approval on June 22 to the levy, which has been discussed for the past several months.
Saint Paul will receive half of those funds annually and will be able to vote on levy-supported projects. The funds will be available starting in 2023 and are supported by the city’s HRA. The levy will increase annual taxes on a median value residential property by about $45.
The approval allows the county to levy up to .0185 percent of the estimated market value on all taxable property within the county. North Saint Paul, which is the only other city in the county with an HRA, decided not to participate. Cities without HRAs in place were not able to opt out.
The levy is dedicated to HRA projects. Ramsey County and Saint Paul’s intent is to support affordable housing through a county economic competitiveness and inclusion plan. The funds could be used for housing preservation or for new projects, serving as gap financing, land acquisition, matching grants or other purposes.
Ramsey County has had an HRA in place for many years, but used property sale proceeds, federal dollars and other funding sources to support its work. It is the only county in the Twin Cities that currently does not levy separately for its HRA.
Commissioner Victoria Reinhardt praised the levy, saying it represents a step in working with cities in the county to raise funds for affordable housing.
Ward 3 City Council member Chris Tolbert, who chairs the Saint Paul HRA, said the approximately $5 million the city will receive may not be a huge sum of money, it will provide another resource for badly needed affordable housing.
— Jane McClure
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