That whole "no new taxes" pledge from 2003 still hits small towns throughout Central Minnesota. Even back in 2006, the most popular thing to talk about when we knocked on doors was the sharp increase in property taxes.
Double digit increases were the norm between 03-06. It seemed as though things finally had stabilized a bit.
Now, Governor Pawlenty is proposing a 15% cut to LGA in 2010 and a 31% cut in 2011.
How does this impact us locally?
Annandale loses $70,826 in 2010 and $158,062 in 2011.
Cokato loses $73,735 in 2010 and $164,553 in 2011.
Dassel loses $43,955 in 2010 and $98,094 in 2011.
Hutchinson loses $414,947 in 2010 and $926,037 in 2011. Double whammy with all the job losses at HTI as well...
Litchfield loses $204,042 in 2010 and $455,360 in 2011.
You get the picture.
Arguably, larger cities have an easier time taking these cuts in stride. Small towns like Silver Lake, Howard Lake, Darwin, Grove City, Cosmos, etc, have a more difficult time absorbing blows like this.
Ultimately, they made choices like Wadena's mayor Wayne Wolden.
In Wadena during a recent weekend snowfall, the city waited until Monday morning to plow streets rather than pay overtime. With its proposed LGA cut in 2009, the city is likely to close its parks department, said Mayor Wayne Wolden. In the second year, its $230,000 cut would mean plowing streets after every other major snowstorm, he said.Pawlenty spoke of priorities during his budget presentation, saying military, Veterans and public safety were the highest priority in his budget.
Despite Pawlenty's intentions, it would at least appear to me that leaving 6 inches of snow in the streets wouldn't be the safest thing to do, but with Pawlenty's "no new taxes" fetish, choices like that need to be made.