Monday, February 15, 2010

Statement from League of Minnesota Cities re: Governor Pawlenty's proposed cuts in aids and credits to cities (announced this a.m.)

From Executive Director Jim Miller:

“At a time when Minnesota cities are struggling to make ends meet the Governor’s proposed slashing of state aids and credits is devastating news, especially on the heels of $258 million already cut since December of 2008. As Minnesotans well know, those cuts have already resulted in dramatic escalation of property taxes and reductions in vital city services for hundreds-of-thousands of city residents. The Governor’s proposal will lead to more of the same, on an unprecedented scale.

Minnesota cities have already shouldered a disproportionate burden of the state’s budget cuts over the past couple of years. We understand that solving the state budget crisis involves sacrifice and tough decisions. We gain nothing, though, when those decisions involve simply passing the buck to local governments and jeopardizing health, safety, and quality of life in our state’s communities. As the session continues, we hope that the Governor and the State Legislature involve stakeholders in discussions of solutions that put ALL revenue and expenditure options on the table instead of once again looking to residents of Minnesota cities for a financial bail-out.”