Survey: Minneapolis residents happy to live here, but not with taxes

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February 19, 2013 // UPDATED 10:03 am - February 20, 2013
By: Nick Halter
Nick Halter

Nine out of 10 Minneapolis residents say their city is a good place to live and 70 percent say they’re happy with the direction Minneapolis is headed. 

Those numbers are according to a telephone survey of 1,378 city residents conducted by National Research Center Inc. in the fall of 2012. It’s the sixth survey to measure the satisfaction and concerns of residents since 2001.

The survey, which was contracted by the city, also shows that residents are becoming less happy with their property tax bills. Over the past decade, the percentage of those surveyed who would be OK with the city raising fees or taxes to maintain or improve service has decreased from 63 percent to 52 percent.

Just 59 percent of respondents say they’re getting a good value for their tax dollars, which is below the national average, according to the survey.

Property taxes have increased sharply in Minneapolis in the early part of the decade. The city raised the tax levy by 4.7 percent in 2010, 0 percent in 2011 and 1.7 percent in 2012. That’s on top of tax increases by Hennepin County and Minneapolis Public Schools.

Still, 34 percent of respondents say Minneapolis is a better place to live than two years ago, up from 22 percent in 2011 and 21 percent in 2008.

Roughly 16 percent of respondents said they want to move out of Minneapolis in the next two years. Nine percent of those say they’re moving because they want better schools, 5 percent want lower taxes, 10 percent want to be closer to their family and 6 percent want to move for work reasons.

The survey shows mixed satisfaction with Minneapolis Public Schools. About 61 percent are satisfied with public schools, compared to 39 percent who are dissatisfied.

Education is a high priority for residents, as 30 percent of residents rank it in the top 3 challenges the city will face in the next five years. Public safety ranked first on the challenges list, with 32 percent.

Satisfaction levels vary widely depending on where residents live. Respondents living in the Southwest and Cedar-Isles areas of the city were 96 and 99 percent satisfied with where they live, compared to just 59 percent of Near North respondents. Yet 93 percent of Near North respondents said they were proud of where they live.

 

The city's Committee of the Whole will discuss the survey results on Thursday during its regular meeting that begins at 10 a.m. 

A few notes on the survey:

-It was conducted from Oct. 11 to Nov. 28

-It had a 20 percent response rate

-It has a 3 percent margin of error

-25 percent of respondents were people of color

-53 percent owned a home