Editorial: Thriving cities result in thriving state revenue

Published 10:12 am Tuesday, December 11, 2012

It’s really simple.

The healthier the cities and schools of Minnesota are, the healthier state revenue becomes. The more harm the state does to cities and schools, by cutting aid that results in fewer services and higher taxes, the more harm the state does to its ability to generate revenue.

That’s because thriving communities produce vibrant economies, and when that happens the state gets a share of the pie.

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It seems in the past decade the state government has forgotten this. Instead, it opted for ways to just get by on less or to balance budgets on the backs of schools or denying increases in fees and surcharges are tax increases or pitting metro suburbs against Greater Minnesota regional centers.

The basic, simple premise of what makes the state strong became far too complicated.

In the coming legislative session, it’s time for state leaders to put communities first. Fix the school shift. Fund local government aid. Take steps toward educational equity. Undo steep fees and surcharges that prevent people from accessing their government services. Produce a bonding bill that benefits places in Minnesota that need projects to help their economy, not places that merely want a nice extra slice of pork.

In short, the state government has trust to repair and renew. The status quo was the state passed measures that resulted in higher property taxes. That hasn’t helped the middle class or elderly people trying to stay in their homes. It hasn’t created thriving communities. Perhaps in 2013, that cycle can be broken and the burden of state government placed back on income and sales taxes where it belongs.

It’s time Minnesota rebounds. Let’s get back to sound business and return to what worked.