The Center for Economic Policy Research says that “Minnesota Does Not Have Runaway Spending and NYT Readers Should Know This Fact”. You should probably know it, too.
Remember folks; raising taxes to balance the state budget is a no-no, but raising taxes to build a new stadium is a-ok!
Amid the more important budget-focused conference committees set to kick off this week at the Capitol, Senate File 1164 will take center stage. It’s the Vikings stadium bill — one that Gov. Mark Dayton and others are calling a “good start.”
We beg to differ.
Someone please tell me why a football stadium in Minnesota would be open air. Help me understand.
Probably for the same reason the Republicans are OK with tax increases for a stadium, but not for anything else? Especially when our state has a $5 billion budget deficit.
Wouldn’t it be amusing if the state goes through the effort to pass a stadium bill this year and the NFL doesn’t even play next season because of a walkout? Here’s hoping.
Today and tomorrow, the Minnesota House of Representatives is debating a bill to eliminate all of Minneapolis’ LGA — not just cut it, but eliminate it entirely. The bill starts by requiring us to eliminate $80 million worth of City functions this year alone and would eliminate all aid by 2014.
Make no mistake: this bill is a tax increase that the State is passing on to Minneapolis.
To give you a sense of proportion, $80 million is:
- Twice the annual cost of filling potholes and paving streets.
- The cost of salary and benefits for 800 police officers — nearly our entire force.
- Larger than the Fire Department, 911 and criminal prosecution combined.
Just so you know, on paper the bill proposes a $40 million cut this year — but because the cut would come halfway through our budget year, we’d have to cut $80 million to make up for it.
The bill wouldn’t raise property taxes this year, but it seriously compromises our goal of holding the line on property taxes next year.
The bill is also a job-killer. Minneapolis is the economic engine of Minnesota, but by 2014, we would have to cut nearly every City function that helps employers attract jobs, grows our economy and keeps our quality of life high.
I’m asking you to contact House Speaker Kurt Zellers of Maple Grove, Representative Greg Davids of Preston (chair of the House Tax Committee) and Representative Linda Runbeck of Circle Pines (chair of the House Property Tax Committee) and tell them that you oppose this bill to raise property taxes, eliminate core services and kill job growth in Minneapolis.
One thing to know: it would be bad enough if they proposed eliminating aid to all Minnesota cities, and I would oppose that strongly, too. But they’re not: they’reeliminating aid only to Minneapolis, Saint Paul and Duluth.
And don’t let anyone tell you that State aid is a “handout” or that Minneapolis taxpayers are “dependent” on the State. If anything, it’s the other way around: Minneapolis helps keep the State afloat. This year alone, we will send $367.5 million more to the State in sales and property taxes than the State has promised us back in LGA. State aid to Minneapolis is not a handout.