Many of us have come back to begin school, office hours are starting to stabilize, and some of us have even raised docks and emptied water systems. We hope you all had a wonderful summer!
The Aitkin Independent Age recently published a three-part series on lakeshore development.
Part One: What Price Growth?
Part Two: Quality Water and Quality of Life
Part Three: It Takes Minnesotans with the Will and the Way
MSRPO receives many, many questions from members about proposed shoreline rules, enforcement of existing rules, and other topics related to growth and water quality.
MSRPO is working with a number of groups this year to push the idea of incentives because we all value clean water. Research has shown that providing incentives with tax breaks to owners who manage land in a way that improves water quality is very effective.
Currently Minnesota's tax code forces larger and faster developments of lakeshore and forest land. The DNR tells us that one of the main causes of surface water pollution is overdevelopment of lakeshore.
Incentives do not require the long vetting process of regulation changes. Incentives do not create "winners and losers" that work to change regulations. They are cheaper to implement because they require no enforcement. They do not "take" property rights from an owner.
Along with removal of seasonal from the state general tax, reinstatement of Limited Market Value, and circuit breaker legislation for seasonal owners, MSRPO will push Blue Waters during the next legislative session. Incentives are a practical first step in water protection efforts.
The three-part series from Aitkin Independent Age gives us all much to think about and consider. I urge all of you who have opinions about this to write the Aitkin paper, and weigh in on this debate.
We hope to see you all at the MSRPO Annual Meeting on October 10, at the Thunderbird Motel in Bloomington to hear Polar Explorer and World Climate Change expert Will Steger speak. It will be an exciting and informative evening.