Minneapolis to file a "friend of the court" brief in unallotment appeal

The Minneapolis City Council and Mayor R.T. Rybak directed the City Attorney’s Office to pursue filing an amicus ("friend of the court") brief in the legal case challenging the Governor’s use of unallotment to two programs on Friday, Jan. 29. Gov. Tim Pawlenty has also used unallotment to reduce funding to cities and counties across the state, including Minneapolis.

The City's brief will be in support of the Ramsey County District Court Decision in the case of Brayton et al. v. Pawlenty et al. The District Court ruled on the case Dec. 30, 2009, and enjoined the Governor’s use of unallotment to reduce funding for Minnesota Supplemental Aid and the Renter Property Tax Fund. The Governor has filed an appeal of this decision to the Minnesota Court of Appeals.

The Governor has also used unallotment to reduce Local Government Aid (LGA) for 2009 and 2010. Across Minnesota, continued state cuts to LGA have led to fewer police and firefighters on duty, reduced library and park hours, and reduced snow plowing and street maintenance. Cuts to LGA have also led to a 64 percent increase in property taxes across the state.

Since Gov. Pawlenty’s December 2008 unallotment, the City of Minneapolis has lost an additional $43 million in LGA. Along with other cuts made to LGA, Minneapolis now receives approximately $50 million less in local government aid each year than it did in 2003. At that time, LGA comprised 40 percent of the City's General Fund revenue while property taxes provided 29 percent of the revenue. In 2010, LGA comprises just 19 percent of General Fund revenue while property taxes provide 46 percent.

Published Jan 29, 2010