August 7, 2014 (Minneapolis) - The Minneapolis Charter Commission recently approved a proposal to raise the candidate filing fees for city offices. The proposal will now go before Minneapolis voters this November.

 The approved ballot language:

Shall the Minneapolis City Charter be amended to increase the filing fees for candidates seeking City elected offices from the current fee of $20 for each office to $500 for the office of Mayor, $250 for the office of Council Member, $100 for the office of  Board of Estimate and Taxation Member, and $100 for the office of Park & Recreation Commissioner and, as an alternative to payment of a filing fee, allow a candidate to submit a petition of voter signatures as provided in state law?

FairVote Minnesota applauds this decision, and urges Minneapolis voters to approve the change when they cast their votes in the fall. The current and nominal across-the-board $20 fee was established decades ago, and is now obsolete and outdated. Regardless of the citys usage of Ranked Choice Voting, we believe this increase is timely and ensures that candidates for municipal office intend to mount a serious campaign.

Importantly, though, it is a modest and reasonable proposal that would simply match the filing fees already used in Saint Paul. Additionally, state law allows candidates to collect signatures in lieu of a filing fee. This proposed fee increase reiterates that, ensuring that the increase would not preclude any candidate from being on the ballot for lack of money.