RT Spars with Pawlenty over Budget
I'm happy to see Mayor RT Rybak openly challenging Governor Tim Pawlenty's false assertions regarding the Minneapolis budget.
For instance, Pawlenty charged that the Mayor's proposed budget would lay off police officers. It's not true - no police layoffs are proposed. In fact, the Mayor would spend more and provide a larger police force than ever. Pawlenty also went after a nonexistent “department that relates to the cultural and artistic affairs,” which has not been in place since 2002. It does not seem that the Governor's budget advisors are keeping him well informed.
As RT points out, we balance our budgets in Minneapolis, and we plan for the next five years, unlike Pawlenty's strategy of one-time fixes and budget gimmicks that have helped produce this more than $5 billion deficit. Moreover, our spending has increased by a much slower rate (3.5%)than the State's (11%) over the past five years, adjusted for inflation.
More importantly, Pawlenty has the fiscal relationship between Minneapolis and the State entirely backwards, when he talks about Minneapolis' dependence on the State to bail us out. We send more than $464 million in property and sales taxes to the state every year, and we're slated to receive $71 million back. This is why I am so strongly supporting the move to reexamine our financial relationship, to keep more of the tax revenue we generate, rather than hoping that an undependable State will live up to its commitments to us.
You can read more here, and see RT's video response to the Governor's misstatements here.