Republican legislators are targeting local government aid as they attempt to erase the state’s $5 billion deficit.
Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak defended the program on his blog, arguing against the contention that state aid is a handout.
“Minneapolis helps keep the state afloat,” Rybak wrote. “This year alone, we will send $367.5 million more to the state in sales and property taxes than the state has promised us back in LGA.”
Rybak’s numbers are on point.
LGA is given to Minnesota communities that would have a hard time paying for services with property taxes alone. Both the House and Senate are debating bills that would cut LGA; the House bill would phase out aid for Minneapolis, St. Paul and Duluth.
Rybak lays out a lot of reasons why he thinks cutting LGA is a bad idea, pointing out that Minneapolis puts more in the state coffers than it takes out in state aid.
City budgeters estimate that the state will collect roughly $380 million in sales taxes and roughly $75 million in commercial property taxes from Minneapolis.
Minus the $87.5 million in LGA Minneapolis is slated to get in 2011, the city is expected to provide the state with $367.5 million this year.
For his first PoliGraph test, Rybak earns an Accurate.
The Mayor’s Blog, Urgent: Need your help today to hold the line on property taxes, by Mayor R.T. Rybak, March 18, 2011
Minnesota State Legislature, House Research: The City LGA Program, by Pat Dalton, January 2009
Minnesota Public Radio News, Senate GOP bill slashes local government aid, by Tim Pugmire, March 23, 2011
The City of Minneapolis, 2011 Budget, accessed March 23, 2011
The Minnesota Department of Revenue, Minnesota Sales and Use Tax: Instruction Booklet, accessed March 23, 2011
Interview, John Stiles, spokesman, Mayor R.T. Rybak, March 22, 2011
The Humphrey School