Tom Robertson Feature Archive

The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency is warning rural homeowners to protect their septic systems to prevent freeze-ups. (12/29/2011)
The lack of snow is hurting Minnesota businesses that cater to winter recreation, especially in the snowmobile and ski sectors, meaning a potential loss in millions of dollars in revenue in communities across the state. (12/28/2011)
Reporter Tom Robertson talks to Cathy Wurzer about what's going in northern Minnesota. Tourism is down this winter because of the lack of snow around the state, but the lakes are making cool sounds as they freeze. (12/28/2011)
A 40-year-old idea that shifted the way Minnesota pays for many local government services -- the "Minnesota Miracle" -- is getting new scrutiny as budgets tighten. (12/23/2011)
Ely city leaders have responded to pressure by presenting a revised budget that trims a proposed levy increase down to 14 percent from 27 percent. (12/21/2011)
When Ely set its preliminary budget back in September, town leaders decided to raise the tax levy by 26 percent. As part of our Forced to Choose series, we report on the town's Truth in Taxation hearing Tuesday night, where the mayor and others felt the blowback for their plans. (12/07/2011)
On Wednesday, we check in with one of our reporters who is based outside the Twin Cities. MPR's Cathy Wurzer spoke with Minnesota Public Radio news' Tom Robertson who covers northern Minnesota from our Bemidji bureau. (11/30/2011)
In Minnesota, every year there are lots of reasons property taxes can go up or down. This year there are even more, as homeowners and business people are learning when they open their proposed property tax statements. (11/25/2011)
Tough economic times are forcing cities of all stripes to re-examine how they spend tax dollars. But in small towns like Floodwood, many worry their actual existence is endangered. (11/16/2011)
Duluth voters rejected three different school referendum options on Tuesday that would have raised property taxes to provide more money for schools. (11/09/2011)
Many Minnesota cities have whittled away at their library and park budgets the past few years, and Duluth is no exception. The city is, however, taking the step of asking residents to vote on whether they want to raise their taxes to restore some services. (11/02/2011)
State aid cuts have compelled Grand Rapids to trim more than $1 million from its budget, but it's also dropped the local property tax rate by 18 percent and avoided big layoffs and major cuts in services. (10/20/2011)
On Wednesdays, Morning Edition checks in with an MPR reporter who is based outside the Twin Cities. Today, Tom Robertson, who covers northern Minnesota out of our Bemidji bureau, talked about a story he's tracking. It's happening in International Falls where local officials are throwing support behind a proposed new border crossing facility on the Rainy River. (10/19/2011)
Business owners are just beginning to learn how changes lawmakers and the governor made last summer are going to affect them. Many property owners are just learning of the tax hike enacted last summer. (10/13/2011)
The new owner of the Sierra Sue II, a World War II fighter plane that's been featured in midwestern air shows for years, wants it to look the way it did when it rolled out of the factory nearly 70 years ago. (10/04/2011)