FFM Bulletin 9/17/10

Northstar Commuter Rail runs operating deficit of $1 million per month

According to new financial and ridership figures obtained by the Freedom Foundation of Minnesota, taxpayers are taking a $1 million-a-month hit to cover the operating deficits of the Northstar Commuter Rail line. Despite projections that passenger fares would cover 20% of Northstar’s operating costs, as of July 2010 they are coming in at only 17%. That means taxpayers are chipping in an average subsidy of $18.74 per passenger per one-way trip. Read more in FFM’s latestNorthstar Accountability Alert.

Want to sell your house? Better ask the government for permission

It’s tough enough to sell a house with home sales in the Twin Cities undergoing the biggest decline in the country, down 42 percent in July year to year. Yet some local governments make it even tougher for homeowners by imposing some of the country’s most onerous before-sale residential inspection ordinances, adding to the cost and red tape of buying and selling a house at the worst possible time. These ‘point-of-sale’ inspections cost sellers anywhere from $50 to $200, but they do not replace private inspections or qualify as any sort of official guarantee of quality. Freedom Foundation research indicates that fourteen metro-area municipalities currently have point-of-sale ordinances in place. Read more in FFM’s Point-of-Sale Accountability Alert.

New FFM website

The Freedom Foundation of Minnesota is happy to announce the launch of its new and improved website! The new site is more interactive and easier than ever to navigate. Find the latest FFM studies and Accountability Alerts, register for upcoming events, and stay connected to FFM via social networking sites. Visit the site and FreedomFoundationMN.com


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