LGA to go up under gov.’s planPublished 4:16pm Saturday, January 26, 2013
However, aid for A.L. would go back down by 2018 under proposal
Albert Lea could expect a more than $700,000 increase in its local government aid in 2014 under a budget proposal presented this week by Gov. Mark Dayton.
But the gain wouldn’t stick around for long.
By 2018, Albert Lea’s LGA level would return to the amount expected in 2014 under the existing law, according to the proposal.
Albert Lea City Manager Chad Adams said the proposal makes it difficult to plan for the future.
“I think it needs to be sustainable,” Adams said. “Obviously, we’d like it to be more of a flat line number with some small increases or small decreases instead of spikes upward or downward. We want that certainty or long-term plan so we know how to respond to it.”
Dayton’s proposal calls for Albert Lea to receive $5.26 million in LGA in 2014, up from the planned $4.54 million under the existing law. However, by 2018, the city would receive $4.54 million under Dayton’s proposal, compared to the $5.07 million that is projected under the existing law.
Under the governor’s proposal, funding is based on three factors:
• Age of housing in the community. A city with a higher percentage of housing built before 1970 would receive a larger amount of LGA.
• Percentage of parcels that are tax-exempt in the city.
• Public safety and street needs based on the city’s population.
Adams said city officials will be examining whether there is equity under the proposal for Greater Minnesota cities compared to metro cities.
St. Paul, for example, is slated to receive $50.02 million in 2014 under the existing law, but $58.91 under Dayton’s proposal the same year. By 2018, the city would receive $68.56 million, according to the proposal.
Dayton’s plan calls for a 24 to 25 percent increase in county program aid for most counties in 2014; however, projections for 2018 for county aid were not available as of press time.
The proposal calls for Freeborn County’s aid to increase from $1.16 million in 2013 to $1.45 million in 2014.
Freeborn County Administrator John Kluever said he will watch how the budget process unfolds before making any plans, as the numbers will likely change before the end of the session.
“We’re not spending the money yet,” Kluever said.