If you’ve been paying attention the past few years, you may have noticed a renewed focus on downtown Minot. It’s coming from the City through intentional investments, it’s coming from private investors taking leaps of faith, and it’s coming from non-profits supporting all these efforts.
Over the course of that time, there’s been no shortage of critics and non-believers. Many simply believe downtown’s day has passed; it’s time to move on because it will never be what it once was. We’re all welcome to our opinions, but those opinions are wrong.
Never mind the culture, the history, the diversity, the architecture, the character, or the community — none of those are universally valued. In other words, they matter differently to each of us. So, ignore all those things.
And never mind the fact that the downtown approach to community building has worked and is working in towns and cities across the country. However, in today’s culture where no one trusts anyone who’s not a member of their tribe, you’ve got no reason to trust me in that statement. So don’t.
But here’s something you can trust because you can verify it yourself. Acre for acre, Minot’s downtown is still among the best — if not the best — producer for you the taxpayer. You do care about property taxes, right?
Property taxes are determined by value; the higher the value, the higher the tax bill. Those taxes go to looking after the City’s responsibilities and a big chunk of those responsibilities is infrastructure like water, sewer, and streets. And the bigger the area, the more of all of those things cost. In other words, the more we spread out, the more we raise our costs.
Do you see where I’m heading? If, as a taxpayer, you like return on investment, you should really like downtown Minot when you compare it to other centers of commerce. Take a look at the information presented below; it tells a compelling story.
And while this type of analysis is neither perfectly scientific nor of inclusive of every factor, the results tell a story that should get your attention.