Mayors from greater Minnesota and the metro area sent Governor Mark Dayton the following letter, inviting him to discuss the Local Government Aid program within the context of the state’s budget deficit.
Dear Governor Dayton,
Mayors from across the state, as well as those of us signed below, would like to request a meeting with you to discuss the importance of Local Government Aid to our communities and to property taxpayers across the state.
We appreciate your determination to keep LGA intact and hold the line on property taxes, but we are aware of the difficult challenges that lie ahead for you and the Legislature. Although all of us welcomed the updated budget forecast that improved the state’s financial picture by over $ 1 billion, there is still a need to balance the state’s budget given the significant shortfall that exists. We believe it is essential that the final budget agreement not result in continued property tax increases on Minnesota businesses and families, which would most certainly be the result if additional cuts to LGA are enacted.
As you know, our communities have been forced to make deep cuts in critical services due to continued reductions in Local Government Aid funding over the past several years. Since 2002, property taxes have increased over 65%. Our communities can no longer remain attractive, and our businesses can no longer remain competitive, with these continued cuts and significant property tax increases.
This is very important time for our state and our communities. The decisions you and the legislature make in the coming months will likely determine the direction of our state for the next decade. We respectfully ask for this meeting to present and discuss the concerns of our communities with you.
Park Rapids Mayor Nancy Carroll (President of the Coalition of Greater MN Cities)
Worthington Mayor Alan Oberloh (1st Vice Pres. of the Coalition of Greater MN Cities)
Cloquet Mayor Bruce Ahlgren
Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak
St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman