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Letter: Changes in state funding are causing rising local taxes

The members of the Detroit Lakes City Council have worked diligently to keep the cost of running our City as low as possible, but despite our hard work, property taxes have risen steadily over the past few years. Rising costs have been part of the problem, but most of the tax increases stem from a change in direction on the state level.

After years of a successful city/state partnership program that worked to hold down property taxes while insuring that all citizens in the state received basic services, the Local Government Aid program received a fund cut of $150 million in 2003 that is still being felt today. The Legislature did attempt to correct this problem last year, but the bill to restore $70 million of the LGA cuts was vetoed within hours of its passage by Governor Tim Pawlenty.

The Local Government Aid cuts have meant that Detroit Lakes residents have paid over $3.3 million in creased taxes since 2003. Even last year Local Government Aid cuts increased our local tax rate from five percent to over 15 percent.

The State Senate has passed a bill sponsored by Senator Rod Skoe to increase Local Government Aid by $70 million. The House of Representatives seems reluctant to pass bill (H.F. 3756) sponsored by Representative Paul Marquart to increase funding for LGA by $90 million. We must tell the House Leadership how important this property tax relief is to citizens of Detroit Lakes.

Please contact the following House leaders and tell them to support Representative Marquart's Bill (H.F. 3756) to attempt to lower our property taxes.

Rep. Margaret Anderson Kelliher - 651-296-0171 or (Speaker of the House of Representatives)

Rep. Loren Solberg - 651-296-2365 or rep.loren.solberg (Chair, Ways and Means Committee)

Rep. Ann Lenczewski - 206-296-4218 or rep.ann.lenczewski Tax Committee)

Your help is important to insure property tax relief. --?Larry G. Buboltz

(Buboltz is the Mayor of Detroit Lakes)