Second Ward, Minneapolis

This is the public policy forum of Minneapolis Second Ward (Green) City Council Member Cam Gordon and his staff. We use this space to talk about some of what Cam’s working on, explain his positions, and share a little of what life in City Hall is like. Please feel free to comment on posts, within certain ground rules. See our disclaimer, including ground rules, here: http://secondward.blogspot.com/2006/05/disclaimer.html#links

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Pawlenty's Unallotment

As you've likely heard, outgoing Governor Tim Pawlenty has "unalloted" $2.7 billion in State spending, rather than negotiate with the DFL-controlled legislature to find a workable compromise that would both raise revenues and cut spending.

Yet again, he has chosen to balance the State's books on the backs of local governments. Local Government Aid to Minneapolis will be cut by $8.5 million in 2009 and $21.3 million in 2010, for a total cut of $30 million through 2010.

With the Governor’s action today, on top of his previous draconian cuts to LGA, the City of Minneapolis receives 43 percent less from the State than we did six years ago.

The real kicker? The State of Minnesota is still using Minneapolis as a piggy bank. On top of the income tax the State collects from Minneapolis residents and workers, they take about $74 million off the top from our property taxes, and rake in $390 million in sales taxes generated in Minneapolis. Given what Pawlenty did today, the State now only returns 15% of those dollars back to Minneapolis and prohibits us from collecting any kind of income tax ourselves and restricts the use of our citywide sales tax (.05 percent that generated 29.5 million dollars in 2007) for use on Convention Center maintenance and debt.

The Minnesota Miracle has been destroyed, a victim of the misguided, bankrupt state financing philosophy of of Tim Pawlenty. I will be working with my colleagues to radically reframe the relationship between the City and the State, so that we can keep more of the nearly half-billion dollars in non-income tax revenue we generate for the State every year. We must stop depending on the Local Government Aid that Pawlenty has made clear we can no longer rely on.

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