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Lakeville is Not Among Winners in New LGA Bill

Even with a new formula, the city would continue to do without the state aid payments.

Lakeville is one of the few cities that would not benefit from a new proposal that would inject tens of millions of dollars of local government aid into the system and change the way those millions are distributed.

The bill by Moorhead Rep. Ben Lien (DFL-4A) would add $80 million to the $426 million that the state is scheduled to spend on local government aid (LGA) in 2014.

It would also create a new formula that adjusts aid based on its “aid gap”—a product of how the formula determines “unmet need,” according to the House Research bill summary. For so-called “large cities” that have more than 10,000 people, including Lakeville, the formula considers three factors in determining need per capita:

  • Jobs per capita,
  • Percent of housing built before 1940 and
  • Percent of housing built between 1940 and 1970.

LGA is intended to help cities with greater needs than they can reasonably expect to fund through property taxes. In most cases, the money goes into a city's general fund, to be spent however city officials deem necessary.

If Lien's law passes, no city would receive less aid in 2014 than it did in 2013. But aid could decrease in later years if it was bigger than what the formula determined to be unmet need. Decreases could not be more than 5 percent of the city’s levy the previous year.

In all, 85 of the state’s 854 cities would not receive LGA in the initial year—down from 107 that do not receive it now, according to the Red Wing Republican Eagle. Some of Lakeville’s south metro neighbors would be among the beneficiaries— including Burnsville and Northfield.

The bill has united cities in the Twin Cities metro and rural Minnesota because they feel it would make LGA more predictable from year to year.

An earlier proposal from Gov. Mark Dayton also recommended setting aside $80 million more for LGA, but it didn’t tweak the formula so radically.

Lakeville wouldn’t have received any money under Dayton’s plan either.

The city last received LGA in 2002, when it got $499,158, according to House Research’s Local Government Aid Lookup tool.

Use the search tools above to compare how cities would fare if the bill passes. The bottom box allows a simple search by name.

The top widget allows comparison by “city cluster”—groups of cities that have similar characteristics. The House Research Department just started using new city clusters March 6. Lakeville is in the “Large Cities” group. Click here to read more about city clusters.

lbfixer March 27, 2013 at 07:39 PM
LGA is more of our tax dollars going to cities that have not planned for their future and squandered their tax payers money. with dems in control in MN we will contimue to feed the beast.
Lisa March 28, 2013 at 11:53 AM
Congratulation Lakeville! Thanks to Mayor Bellows and the City Council, we have done a good job of planning! We should be proud that we do not qualify!
Buzz March 28, 2013 at 12:22 PM
Another redistribution of wealth initiative. When is MN voters going to wake up and rid the government of these people?!

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