Thursday, December 11, 2008

This guy is nuts! Headline: "Local Government Aid Should Be First Reductions in State Budget"... I STRONGLY disagree


Contact: Phil Krinkie
December 10, 2008 Ph: (651) 919-4945

Local Government Aid Should Be First Reductions in State Budget

ST. PAUL – At a Minnesota State Senate Tax Committee hearing on Wednesday, city and county officials from several communities around the state testified that the State Legislature should not reduce state Local Government Aid (LGA) payments to help balance the projected $5.2 billion state deficit. But these local officials aren’t realistic. As state economist Tom Stinson testified, the deficit will likely be greater than the current $5.2 billion shortfall announced last week by March 2009.

Statewide, cities are set to raise property taxes an average of 5.4% to fund increasing city budgets, instead of facing the difficult decision to scale back, cities are continuing to increase their budgets.

Some Minnesota cities currently receive more in State LGA payments than they levy in property taxes. Combine that with the fact that slightly less than 50% of Minnesotans live in cities that receive no LGA transfer payments from the State. With most Minnesota homeowners already facing increasing property taxes, it’s time for cities to break their tax and spend habit.

“Minnesota taxpayers are facing tough economic times and cities should be scaling back their spending, not raising taxes. Cities should stop looking for a handout from state government,” said Phil Krinkie, President of the Taxpayers League of Minnesota.

“I’m glad that Governor Pawlenty is willing to put LGA reductions in his proposed 2010-2011 budget. Why should the legislature give payments to cities that continue to spend, spend, spend and then hand the bill to property owners,” added Krinkie.

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