Updated: Sep 14, 2019
Mpls. has reserves to pay Damond settlement, but property taxes might rise.
Minneapolis officials say they are confident the city’s finances can absorb the $20 million payout to the family of police-shooting victim Justine Ruszczyk Damond, one of the largest settlements of its kind in the country.
However, the city will have to come up with a strategy to replenish the self-insurance fund where the settlement money is coming from — adding another justification for higher property taxes in the years ahead.
In an interview Thursday, Minneapolis Chief Financial Officer Mark Ruff said the city’s actuaries believe additional massive payouts are unlikely in the near future.
“At least initially, conversations that I’ve had with our actuaries, they would treat this as an anomaly, a once-in-a-decade kind of occurrence,” Ruff said. “They’re not suggesting to us that we need to be concerned about it happening on a more rapid basis.”
The scale of the payout to the Ruszczyk family, which was announced days after a former Minneapolis police officer was convicted of killing Damond, is influencing other pending litigation, however. Last week, the City Council rejected a payout to the family of Jamar Clark, who was shot dead by police in 2015, because they considered it too low, and now a family lawyer is demanding a “transformative” amount.
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All of the residents of Minneapolis need to be concerned about city finances and the threat of ever increasing property taxes. The rule of 72 can be used to see how long it takes to double your property taxes. At 8% each year it only takes 9 years (72/8) to double, 7 years at 10%, etc. Don't wait. Show your concerns now. Contact your Council Member and continue protesting as events dictate. Be aware!