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Minnesota Legislature

Seeking more local government aid

Published (2/20/2009)
By Sonja Hegman
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One city feeling the crunch of local government aid cuts could get some relief.

Sponsored by Rep. Paul Kohls (R-Victoria), HF488 would provide a $250,000 annual increase in local government aid for the city of Mayer. The increase would be for five years starting in 2010.

Kohls said he proposed this bill because Mayer has suffered due to state mandates for road construction and the city’s proximity to a Job Opportunity Building Zone. City Administrator Luayn Murphy said businesses “pass right by us” to go to a town down the road that is included in the JOBZ program. The city was also mandated to update its water and wastewater treatment plant, at a $2.7 million cost.

There is no state cost with this change because LGA is set to a fixed amount, but it would shift money away from other cities.

Kohls said he didn’t want to pit cities in his district against each other, but the formula and fairness issues need to be addressed. Murphy said cities with similar characteristics and sizes sometimes receive more LGA because of the formula.

The bill was laid over Feb. 18 by the House Property and Local Sales Tax Division for possible inclusion in its division report. A companion, SF421, sponsored by Sen. Julianne Ortman (R-Chanhassen), awaits action by the Senate Taxes Committee.

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