Legislature Back in Session; Local Governments Concerned

Thursday, February 4th, 2010 at 7:26 am

Minnesota’s legislature reconvenes Thursday in St. Paul.  Lawmakers return to a $1.2 billion deficit this biennium and a projected $5.4 billion in the 2012-2013 biennium. State Senator Tony Lourey say these figures show the state is in a difficult position with few options.

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Local government unit are feeling the impact of the state’s budget shortfall.

Pine City Administrator Don Howard cautioned the city council, Wednesday, that there is a possibility the city could receive no local government aid this year.  Howard said this means the city would not receive $500,000, or 25-percent of the general fund expenditures.

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At Tuesday’s Pine County Board meeting, commissioner Steve Hallan said the county is running out of options. He says the board has cut as much as they can and residents can’t afford a tax increase.

Hallan is hoping the state can come up with creative ways to help local units.

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1 Comment

  1. PC Person 02/8/10 at 3:54pm

    The governor is an outspoken critic of LGA, a program that helps cities provide essential services — police, fire protection, libraries, parks — at an affordable price to property taxpayers but, understandably, he doesn’t like acknowledging the property tax increases and service cuts that result from state-level cuts to LGA funding.

    Since Pawlenty took office in 2003, LGA has been cut by just more than $1 billion cumulatively, and city property taxes have consequently increased more than 60 percent statewide.

    The mayor of Bemidji put it well: “That’s a major public relations problem for someone who trumpets a ‘no new taxes’ policy, and just as tax increases have been deflected to the local level, so has the blame.”

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