State aid to cities up
City officials all over Minnesota are analyzing the outcome of the just-concluded legislative session.
On the surface, cities appeared to have fared well under the 2008 legislature--at least with regard to the Local Government Aid program.
Cities will get $42 million more in LGA under the bill. Counties, meanwhile, will get $22 million more.
For cities, the final bill could bring another 2 percent into municipal coffers in 2010; and another 4 percent in 2011, according to Kelcey Klemm, Perham city manager.
In Perham, it means $552,602 in aid for 2009--compared to $534,009 for the current year, 2008.
"The worst case scenario would have been a cut in LGA, and a reduction to cities," said Klemm.
JOBZ, an economic development and jobs-creation program that has been aggressively deployed in Perham, was retained--but not extended.
Closely scrutinized by legislators, with rural lawmakers generally supporting it, JOBZ was at high risk of being altered substantially--or even gutted.
The 2008 legislature retained JOBZ incentives to year 2015. However, Perham officials hoped the years would be extended. As it stands now, a potential developer would only realize five to six years of JOBZ incentive. When the program was enacted in 2005, those businesses who were on board early realized a decade worth of tax breaks.