And no, I’m not saying that it would be right. We’re a nation that supposedly doesn’t endorse this sort of thing, though the liberal media and the Democratic Party seem to have made a 180-degree turn in the Trump era. Yet, given what Minneapolis was doing to those who have pretty much lost everything, I could see more than a few folks who would be driven insane with rage. Apparently, the city was denying permits to anyone who needed to remove debris in the wake of the rioting until their 2020 property taxes were paid. Seriously, nothing could be done on your land until you paid the taxman. Now, the city recently suspended this policy and for good reason—it’s grade-A nonsense. And for a city that’s already been virtually destroyed, it’s shockingly out of touch. Oh, and there’s this little thing with the Minneapolis city council gutting the police department. It’s a clown show—and this policy only made the city look like the hellhole that it has become (via Reason):
You see, you can't rebuild or do anything useful with your land until you've cleared off the rubble left on it by the rioting. And you can't do that without a permit, of course. Minneapolis is a city of order, after all.
And you can't get the permit without paying off your 2020 property tax bill in full. As a result, only around 20 wrecked buildings have been demolished, according to the city.
The city, enforcing a state law at its discretion, is holding this demand for a full tax payment over the head of property owners trying to get themselves and the city back to something approximating normal. Owners of destroyed stores are finding they can't even get an estimate as to what the cleanup will cost from contractors without the permit, though the paper reports costs ranging from $35,000 to as much as $400,000 for a strip mall just to get debris cleared.
The average amount owners of destroyed property owe for the second half of their 2020 tax payments is $25,000, which the city demands be laid on the line before any step toward normalcy can happen. And owners of commercial properties are now without their only source of the income with which to pay that property tax bill, as one former restaurateur lamented to local ABC station KSTP.
Blessedly, Mayor Jacob Frey did one good thing out of this—and that’s not saying much—which is to suspend this policy (via Star Tribune):
Minneapolis officials will no longer require property owners to prepay the second half of their property taxes in order to start removing rubble from sites damaged in the May riots.
Mayor Jacob Frey announced the change Thursday after the Star Tribune reported on the controversy.
Minneapolis property owners have complained that the policy was slowing the recovery and turning piles of debris into safety hazards. The situation is different in St. Paul, which has been issuing demolition permits without requiring the prepayment of the second half of 2020 property taxes, which are due in October.
Frey said the city will begin issuing permits and waiving demolition fees for any properties damaged in the riots “irrespective of whether taxes have been paid.” The new policy went into effect Thursday.
The city was engulfed in full-blown riots in May after the police-involved fatality of George Floyd, whose death was captured by bystanders. It set off a new wave of Black Lives Matter activism, political correctness, and far-left violence across the country. Right now, the Left Coast is still rioting, though it’s no longer about Floyd, his death, or police reform. Out there, it’s about the Marxist revolution. The city saw a police station get torched, shops looted, and whole communities set ablaze. And the clowns running the city, for a time, told these devastated residents they couldn’t remove the remnants of their livelihoods until they paid their taxes. Democrats in action, folks.