Today, Minnesota’s Mayors got together at the State Capitol to urge the legislature to adopt Gov. Mark Dayton budget which includes funding Local Government Aid properly. LGA was created in the 1970s to pay back local communities for their support of making Minnesota a great place to live. Local governments used this money to cover expenses for basic services.
Governor Dayton’s budget proposal would add $80 million overall to LGA in 2014, and increase LGA funds incrementally each following year.
Over the last decade, Republicans have slashed it as a way to save money in state budgets. The effect has been an 85% increase in homeowners property taxes. The other effect has been local governments have cut back on police, fire and other essential services. Local school boards have year after year gone to the voters for bond levies not to pay for new buildings or new programs but for operating expenses.
“Governor Dayton has made it clear that one-time budget fixes balanced on the backs of taxpayers can no longer be tolerated,” St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman said. “By stabilizing local government aid, Governor Dayton is not only taking crucial steps to stabilize property taxes, but sending a clear message that the State will responsibly deal with its budget challenges rather than asking cities to bear the burden alone.”
“There is a vital connection between first ring suburbs and the core cities,”
Rochester Richfield Mayor Debbie Goettel said. “The collaboration between the two is important because suburban communities provide a lot of the workers who are employed in the core cities and yet we have very low tax base with aging infrastructure. LGA plays a vital role in allowing cities to redevelop and meet the demands of the 21st century.”