PART 1 - Program Description
Saint Paul’s neighborhoods are one of its greatest assets. With this in mind, state and local legislation was enacted in 1993 to allocate revenue from the city’s half-cent sales tax to the Neighborhood Sales Tax Revitalization (STAR) Program. Administered by the City’s Department of Planning and Economic Development (PED), Neighborhood STAR provides grants for physical improvement projects which strengthen the vitality of our city’s neighborhoods. Public, private, non-profit or for-profit entities located in or doing business in Saint Paul may apply for STAR funds.
The STAR Program represents an extraordinary opportunity to revitalize our community. Providing economic development opportunities, stabilizing and renewing Saint Paul’s housing stock, and rejuvenating public infrastructure can be accomplished through the strategic use of Neighborhood STAR funds.
Available funding for the program varies each year and is determined by the annual STAR budget, which is proposed by the Mayor as part of the City’s budget process, and is approved by the City Council. The appropriation is based on a combination of sales tax revenue projections, loan repayments, closed out projects and investment earnings. The total amount available will be shared when program applications open.
Applying for STAR Funds
Neighborhood STAR is awarded through a competitive application process once per year. When funding is available, the STAR Year-Round Program provides funding opportunities for initiatives which have a particular urgency and cannot meet the general program cycle. For details, please review the STAR website.
General Policies and Expectations
- STAR proposals must be for capital improvement projects or programs located within Saint Paul city limits. STAR funding may only be used for permanently affixed, physical (“bricks and mortar”) enhancements which strengthen and/or improve the neighborhoods of Saint Paul. Projects may include commercial and/or housing rehabilitation, parks projects, streetscape projects, creative placemaking/placekeeping, and economic development activities with an expected life of seven or more years.
- Projects and programs financed with STAR funds are expected to be used for their funded purpose for seven (7) or more years. If for any reason the STAR-funded initiative is discontinued or property sold prior to seven years, the STAR award may be required to be returned to the city.
- To maximize the use of STAR funds, requests over $50,000 must be matched on a minimum dollar for dollar basis with non-city resources. Awarded funds are disbursed upon completion and approval of capital activities.
- STAR projects should support a public purpose by maintaining or increasing the tax base; creating and/or retaining jobs; revitalizing vacant commercial space; building wealth within neighborhoods; celebrating and/or strengthening the city’s cultural diversity; or advancing climate-action, sustainability, and/or resilience goals as put forth in the St. Paul Climate Action and Resilience Plan.
- Proposed activities should be consistent with approved neighborhood plans or initiatives.
- STAR projects and resources should advance geographic and financial equity across all city neighborhoods.
- Your proposal may be subject to compliance requirements depending upon the total amount of your award, total project amount, and/or type of project. The following italicized compliance requirements can be viewed on the City of St. Paul’s website at stpaul.gov/index.aspx?NID=3710 to help you determine whether they apply to your project, and all compliance requirements will be discussed with each awardee if funds are awarded to your project. If you do not have internet access, please contact the staff listed above to request compliance information:
- Affirmative Action
- Business Subsidy
- Prevailing Wage/Federal Davis Bacon Requirements
- Living Wage
- Project Labor Agreement
- Section 3
- PED/HRA Sustainability Initiative
- Saint Paul Sustainable Building Policy
- Two Bid Policy
- Vendor Outreach Program