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Letter: More cuts to rural counties

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Once again our southwest Minnesota rural counties get the short end of the stick! Not only will we be hit with the governor's unallotments but additional cuts!

Why?

Because of the state's County Program Aid formula which nobody fully understands. The reduction is due to the drastic loss in net tax capacity in the metro area from the housing crash while assessed ag land values in rural counties continue to increase. Basically the formula thinks things are booming in our rural counties while land values collapse in the metro.

For example, here in Lac qui Parle County, our 2010 unallotment is $103,507 with an additional cut of $205,425 for a total of $354,304.

Lincoln County's 2010 unallotment is $117,398 with additional cuts of $290,378 ($407,773 total) and Murray County $135,984 with additional cuts of $230,799 ($366,783 total) The list goes on.

And guess what? By the same token Anoka County will get an additional $1,042,910, Scott County an additional $777,468. Dakota gets an additional $834,090,

All the metro counties will get additional CPA dollars. Their tax base is a lot bigger than any of the rural counties so they can weather the storm. The unallotments in rural Minnesota were bad enough, but when you add the additional cuts, this would result in a 16.69 percent levy increase. Many county services will be cut. I think the formula should be revisited.

Terry Overlander

Lac qui Parle County Commissioner

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