The president of the Coalition of Greater Minnesota Cities said Gov. Tim Walz's recommended $30 million increase to the Local Government Aid (LGA) appropriation falls dramatically short of what cities in Greater Minnesota need.
Brian Holmer, who's also the mayor of Thief River Falls, said in a press release that the $30 million increase the governor included in his budget proposal doesn't keep up with inflation. With a record-high surplus, he added, the proposal is disheartening.
The Coalition's top legislative priority this session is a $150 million increase to the LGA appropriation, a statewide program that is vital to restraining property taxes, reducing inequities between communities, and ensuring all cities are able to provide high-quality services and quality-of-life amenities to their residents and businesses.
Since 2009, the press release notes, LGA has only grown by 17% while inflation based on the measure of state and local government has increased by 55%. This fact does not begin to acknowledge the massive increase in the cost of goods and services cities have experienced over the last year, the coalition adds.