One of the crazier things about the Met Council is that it is free to increase the property tax levy that funds part of the operation, without any elected body being able to stop them. Supporters of the current Met Council governance model like to say that this levy is quite small, and we shouldn't be concerned with this taxation without representation question.
For a moment, let's ignore the un-American principle underlying that viewpoint, and look at the numbers: I'm in the process of updated my 2016 report, The Twin Cities Met Council, A Comparative Assessment, and this is one of great examples of how out of step the Met Council is with the rest of the country. As you can see, the Met Council's "small" property tax levy is in fact bigger than the entire budget of all but a handful of the largest regional authorities in the country.
What rationale supports that as a legitimate form of government Of, By, and For the People?
On March 29th, 2017 the Lewis-Lipinski sponsored bill, HR 1346, UNANIMOUSLY passed the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. This bi-partisan bill would reject the Obama rule that would greatly expand the powers of Metropolitan Planning Organizations across the country, including across state lines.
Locally the Obama rule means the Met Council's reach would extend into Wisconsin, and into new counties that have never been subject to the unelected Council's centralized planning.
I've personally spoken with agencies from across the country that are deeply concerned about this Obama rule, which was of course issued without legislative vote. That concern is reflected in the bipartisan sponsorship of, and unanimous committee support to reject the Obama MPO rule that would greatly expand federal power over transportation and local land use.
Let's make sure HR 1346 passes the full House with similar support, and gets through the Senate.
And thanks, Rep. Jason Lewis!
Sure, e-books have a place in the world. I just prefer real ones, in order to make the job a bit harder for any real life Winston Smith who might be out there.