Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Budget-balancing bill would make city cuts permanent
The League of Minnesota Cities has now posted a full analysis of the potential impact of SF 60 on state aid to cities. The article includes a link to a spreadsheet with city-by-city estimates of reductions.
Statement by League of Minnesota Cities Executive Director Jim Miller re: introduction of legislation affecting state aids

State lawmakers are proposing legislation that, once again, would unduly shift the burden of solving the latest state budget crisis to local property tax payers in Minnesota. If enacted as stands, Senate File 60 would cut local government aid and market value homestead credit reimbursements to cities by $143 million for 2011. These cuts are above-and-beyond the $56.5 million in city reductions already imposed for 2011 in last year’s supplemental budget bill.

This proposal could not have come at a worse time as cities have already cut services to the bone, and many have been forced to raise property taxes, as well, in the wake of previous aid cuts over the past two years. Under the provisions of SF 60, cities will have no chance to levy back any portion of the proposed mid-year 2011 cuts since budgets and levies have already been set through December.

Today’s proposal addresses only about 17 percent of the state’s $6.2 billion deficit. While we realize that balancing the state budget requires tough choices, we hope that legislators will consider solutions that don’t force local property tax increases or threaten basic services that contribute to quality of life in our Minnesota communities.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Must-follows for updates about Minnesota cities

The League of Minnesota Cities has several staff members—legislative, legal, and public affairs experts-- who regularly post to Twitter during the State Legislative session. Follow them for the latest news and policy issues affecting Minnesota cities.

League of Minnesota Cities Twitter page;
Cities Matter Twitter page;
Gary Carlson—League lobbyist and intergovernmental relations director;
Anne Finn—League lobbyist and assistant IGR director;
Jennifer O’Rourke—League lobbyist;
Alexis Stangl—League research attorney;
Rachel Carlson—Loss control manager for League’s Insurance trust;
Mary-Margaret Zindren—League Communications and Strategic Initiatives Director;
Stephanie Weiss—League public relations consulting manager;
Don Reeder—League public affairs manager