Mayor Rybak on Governor’s Budget: Communities to Bail out Pawlenty for Inability to Structurally Balance Budget
Homeowners across Minnesota will pay more for fewer basics
February 15, 2010 (MINNEAPOLIS) – Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak made the following statement in reaction to Governor Tim Pawlenty’s proposal to cut $118 million in Local Government Aid to communities across Minnesota.
"Homeowners and business owners across Minnesota are once again being asked to bail out the governor, who has proven incapable of getting the state's budget under control. For eight years the state's fiscal situation has gone from bad to worse — and yet communities large and small across Minnesota have managed to structurally balance their budgets.
"Despite these communities’ hard work, if the governor’s budget becomes law, all over Minnesota people will pay more property taxes — while having to drive over unrepaired roads and bridges and having fewer police and firefighters to rely on to keep us safe.
"In tough times everyone has to do their share — but local communities have already done more than their share. As just one example, during the time the governor and I have been in office, state spending on his watch has risen 12 percent while city spending on my watch has risen one percent. We have cut costs, reformed government and forged new partnerships to create jobs, nurture our youth and keep people safe.
"The governor should take responsibility for his inability to do the same and stop passing the buck onto homeowners.
"In the long term, we should work in partnership with mayors, elected officials and community leaders around our state to restructure local government in Minnesota — but Governor Pawlenty’s budget today doesn’t do that. Instead, the governor has chosen to lob a political grenade while passing off his longstanding problems onto local communities and taxpayers."
Quick facts about Local Government Aid to Minneapolis:
Even before today’s proposal, LGA to Minneapolis has been cut 42%, or $290 million, since 2003.
Since 2003, property taxes have gone from comprising 29% of the City’s revenue to 47% of the City’s revenue.
Since 2003, state aids have gone from comprising 40% of the City’s revenue to 19% of the City’s revenue.
Published Feb. 15, 2010