Last week at the Coalition of Greater Minnesota Cities (CGMC) Legislative Day Governor Tim Walz said he would push to get extra funds to help with essential services while keeping property taxes down with increased funding of $30.5 million a year to local governments. According to City Administrator Shannon Stassen, even a boost would still put funding below the 2002 funding the state gave local governments. “Clayton Briggs and I were down at the CGMC Legislative Action Day and Governor Walz did come and speak,” said City Administrator Shannon Stassen. “That’s the first time a governor has come and spoke in my time. He was very supportive of local aid not just for cities but for counties too. He understands that we still have a ways to go just to get back to the funding levels we were at in 2002 not counting inflation. He did state he was in favor of that which would be a pretty big impact for cities like Crookston and many others across the state. We’re hoping that the support continues and we can get the same kind of support from the House and Senate.”
According to the Coalition of Greater Minnesota Cities Crookston would receive a boost of $151,425 to its LGA funding in 2020 if the proposed budget passed. Governor Walz proposals have already been met with skepticism by both Democrats and Republicans in the legislature.
Well, the increased funding could help Crookston, it’s too soon to know if that funding would offset an increase to the tax levy says, Stassen. “There are a lot of things that go into budgeting so it’s too early to commit to that,” said Stassen. “We’ll start working on that stuff this summer putting together the capital needs and everything else. That was one of the reasons that LGA was put in place, in the beginning, was to help minimize the effects of property tax, so it certainly helps. But we also take into consideration many other things, the capital needs, the compensation packages of each of the unions and our employees, inflation, many things come into play. LGA would be a big piece of it and we’ll work off of that when the decision is made.”