Mayors to recommend solutions for tax reform
Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton announced this week that he has named Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak a co-chair of the Tax Reform Advisory Group for Local Government Aid (LGA). This advisory group will review and discuss major policy issues related to Local Government Aid, specifically on how to best pay for local services while holding local property taxes down. The work of this advisory group will directly support Governor Dayton’s comprehensive tax reform proposal, which will be presented to the 2013 legislature
Mayor Rybak said, ““Property taxes in Minnesota have risen dramatically in the past decade in communities large and small across our state. I’m looking forward to working with this great group of mayors to come up with long-term solutions for a fairer tax system for Minnesota and a sustainable state-local partnership.”
“The legislature’s continuing cuts to LGA have increased the financial pressures on local governments throughout Minnesota. I look to this group of distinguished mayors to advise us on whether LGA should be revised, or simply funded,” said Governor Dayton.
“The amount of LGA distributed to Minnesota cities is approximately half of what it was a decade ago, which has hurt cities’ ability to provide critical services like police, fire, snow plowing and street maintenance. Legislative decisions to reduce local aid have also resulted in the State’s shifting budget-deficit problems onto local governments, forcing them to reduce their budgets and increase local property taxes — the most regressive and unfair of all state and local taxes,” Governor Dayton continued.
Mayor Rybak will co-chair the Advisory Group with St. Cloud Mayor Dave Kleis, a former Republican State Senator who has served as mayor since 2005.
Governor Dayton named the following other mayors to the Advisory Group:
• Mayor Bruce Ahlgren, City of Cloquet
• Mayor Dave Bartholomay, City of Circle Pines
• Mayor Beth Baumann, City of South St. Paul
• Mayor ReNae Bowman, City of Crystal
• Mayor Ardell Brede, City of Rochester
• Mayor Chris Coleman, City of Saint Paul
• Mayor Debbie Goettel, City of Richfield
• Mayor Don Ness, City of Duluth
• Mayor Joyce Nyhus, City of Buffalo Lake
• Mayor Alan Oberloh, City of Worthington
• Mayor Marlene Prospeck, City of Hoyt Lakes
• Mayor Mary Rossing, City of Northfield
• Mayor Dave Smiglewski, City of Granite Falls