Minnesota's local governments need state support

  • Article by: Chris Coleman
  • Updated: February 21, 2013 - 10:20 PM

As the funding known as LGA as declined, property taxes have gone up and services have declined. Look at the numbers.

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my4centsFeb. 21, 1310:31 PM

Just like every mayor in the state, Mr. Coleman should be required to tax the citizens of his community if he sees the need to spend more money. There is no reason why my income taxes should be collected by the state then handed out to the communities that politicians want to subsidize. Whether St. Paul, Austin, or Duluth - let the local citizens decide on what services they want and are willing to pay for.

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alansonFeb. 21, 1311:03 PM

In my city LGA never has declined - we never got any in the first place! And guess what, my property taxes are actually going down!

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elmore1Feb. 22, 13 6:12 AM

Local needs are best assessed and funded at the local level. I have seen some creative partnerships and shared services in recent years. State funding inhibits making these opportunities happen and results in higher taxes to all of us. Let's keep the "right size" of govt at the local, state and federal levels.

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turgidFeb. 22, 13 7:42 AM

I was not a fan of Pawlenty's attack on LGA, because I do believe that money creates a lot of jobs and improves the quality of life for all Minnesotans thru things like infrastructure. But that said, it would be nice to have more specifics from Mayor Coleman on what we gave up in the reduced LGA payments to warrant re-instating them - from his article, it sounds like it's just some fire equipment and a few police officers.

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gandalf48Feb. 22, 13 9:41 AM

Hold on a minute, do the big cities like Minneapolis and St. Paul even need LGA? Out state towns might have revenue raising issues but Minneapolis has their own sales tax and St. Paul has the capital and government headquarters, please tell me why they should get additional funding.

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garagewineFeb. 22, 1310:43 AM

Cities that have money to burn on minor league ballparks are in no position to demand additional support from the state.

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la0tsuFeb. 22, 1310:52 AM

"Hold on a minute, do the big cities like Minneapolis and St. Paul even need LGA? Out state towns might have revenue raising issues but Minneapolis has their own sales tax and St. Paul has the capital and government headquarters, please tell me why they should get additional funding."

Most of the sales tax in the state comes from the Minneapolis and Saint Paul and goes to the state. When you look at net tax revenue sent to the state compared to LGA returned by the state, both cities come out on the short end of the stick.

You mention that Saint Paul has the capitol and government headquarters. What you miss is that this is not an asset - public land is not subject to property tax, yet requires public spending to maintain and police. It's only fair that the rest of the state contribute.

Lastly, LGA helps prevent a situation where all of the wealth generated by the core cities goes to the affluent outer suburbs, leaving a tax base that can't pay for the services needed. People love the opportunities, amenities, and wealth generated by cities, but they hate contributing to the things that keep them healthy. Makes no sense.

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garagewineFeb. 22, 1311:14 AM

"People love the opportunities, amenities, and wealth generated by cities, but they hate contributing to the things that keep them healthy. Makes no sense."----As another poster mentioned, the central cities have the option to levy their own local sales taxes, a right granted to very few cities in the state. On top of this, many of the downtown amenities you refer to are paid for by higher levels of government. The Twins ballpark was financed with a county-wide sales tax. The Vikings stadium will get state gambling dollars. The Guthrie and many other arts ventures receive Legacy funds from the state. The reality is that fiscally the central cities get a pretty good deal, and I find it disingenuous when people like Coleman cry poverty.

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rondbyFeb. 22, 1311:14 AM

"Starting in 2002, cities faced massive cuts in local government aid from the state and were forced to cut the services residents count on most in order to balance budgets and govern responsibly." - Or how about making locals pay more for THIER local government services?

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garagewineFeb. 22, 1311:17 AM

"What you miss is that this is not an asset - public land is not subject to property tax, yet requires public spending to maintain and police. It's only fair that the rest of the state contribute."---The state maintains its own assets and it doesn't rely on St. Paul to police them. By the way, that base of state government workers is what allows many local establishments in St. Paul to survive.

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