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Group proposes sales tax extension as part of state budget fix

Extending the state sales tax to non-essential personal services and to digital downloads is the latest proposal to hold off even deeper cuts in state aid to rural cities.

The Coalition of Greater Minnesota Cities wants to use the tax to provide about $60 million in annual revenue. The advocacy group for rural cities also wants the Legislature to prevent more unallotments to Local Government Aid this year.

Coalition Executive Director Tim Flaherty said LGA for cities makes up 2.9 percent of the state budget. However, LGA cuts make up 16 percent of the unallotments Pawlenty has already made to try to balance the state budget.

Pawlenty recently proposed further cuts to LGA, which is an important funding source for ru-ral cities.

Flaherty said in a conference call Friday morning that the coalition hopes that rural legisla-tors will set aside partisan differences and work together to try to preserve funding for cities.

Linda Vanderwerf

I cover education issues for the West Central Tribune and have worked for the paper since 1995. I have worked in journalism since 1981.

Follow me on Twitter: @lindavanderwerf

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