State government vs. county government

There has been a lot of arguing back and forth over whether cuts in the state budget at the Capitol would result in property tax increases at the county level.

Today, a group of Republicans filed a bill to settle the dispute by freezing county spending.

The bill reads in part:

Notwithstanding any other law to the contrary, for purposes of the certification required by Minnesota Statutes, section 275.07, subdivision 1, in 2011, no local taxing authority shall certify to the county auditor a property tax levy greater than the amount certified to the county auditor pursuant to Minnesota Statutes, section 275.07,subdivision 1, in the prior year, except as provided in this section..

It also prevents wage and benefit increases, and prevents new bonding or debt.

The obvious question that will come up if the bill gets a hearing is whether state lawmakers, who are against many mandates to local governments, should be making spending decisions for county governments.

What’s your view?

Other bills filed at the Minnesota House of Representatives today would:

— Prohibit anyone from getting a driver’s license or driving instruction who isn’t in school.

— Provides automatic voter registration to people applying for or renewing a driver’s license.

— Endorse changing the method of electing a president by eliminating the “electoral college” and electing presidents by popular vote.

— Cap the amount of money that can be spent on youth sports and libraries from the Twins stadium tax in Hennepin County.

— Put another Constitutional amendment on the ballot which would allowing “agricultural land, nonhomesteaded, noncommercial real property owners, and small business property owners to vote on bonding and property tax questions.”

— Remove the cap on greenhouse gas emissions in Minnesota.

— Add a 2.5 percent tax on alcohol. It’s called a “judicial and health impact fee.”