Legislative and Judicial Updates

The Minnesota Legislature passed sweeping new amendments to statutes which create criminal penalties for the failure to pay wages and impose requirements for employers (including contractors) to document the terms of employment with their employees.  The new amendments took effect July 1, 2019.  Then, on August 8, Minneapolis passed an ordinance, essentially piggybacking on the

One of the most consequential decisions of the recently concluded term of the U.S. Supreme Court involves the reversal of a 30-year precedent and reinstatement of a landowner’s right to seek redress in federal court for an alleged taking of property without just compensation.  The 5-4 majority decision in Knick v. Township of Scott, PA

Last week the City of Bloomington adopted an expansive “inclusionary zoning” ordinance for the purpose of compelling developers of single and multifamily housing to include a portion of their new housing as affordable based on prescribed income standards.  “Inclusionary zoning” refers to a policy that compels developers to include some land use component desired by

Recently the Minnesota Supreme Court invalidated a municipality’s use of an unauthorized transportation fee to fund projects that are not directly tied to a specific project. It also invalidated a city’s use of a development contract to “negotiate” such an illegal fee into the contract. Minnesota cities have long contended that development contracts are bona

For more than 30 years, a property owner who claimed that a regulatory action by the government amounted to a compensable taking under the Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution has been required to litigate the issue in state court first, before being allowed to gain entry to federal court. The 1985 case of Williamson

An obscure provision of the House tax bill (H.R. 1, Section 3601) threatens to end a financing tool that has been used by local governments for years to fund critical infrastructure such as airports, seaports, hospitals, educational facilities, affordable housing and tollways, to name a few. Private activity bonds, as they are called, are tax-exempt

One of the current tax code provisions that would be eliminated under the House-proposed tax reform bill is the popular federal Historic Tax Credit program (HTC). The HTC dates back to the Reagan Administration and currently provides a federal tax credit in the amount of 20 percent of qualified rehabilitation expenditures for any certified historic

Forgive developer Martin Harstad if he thought he was in Potterville and not Woodbury when the city told him he had to pay nearly $1.4 million in “road assessments” as a condition of approval for his “Bailey Park” residential development. Harstad sued Woodbury to challenge its authority to demand the road assessments and won