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Tuesday, August 12, 2008

An Empty Hand and a Lid

Rep. Kalin claims on his web site on August 12, 2008,
". . . [W]e took significant steps toward Property Tax Reform, limiting property tax levy increases to just 3.9% a year, and increasing the direct property tax rebate fund by $25 million."
With his vaunted property tax reform, Kalin came to the 10 Chisago County cities with an almost empty hand, bringing a mere $122,093 more LGA for all 10 cities.

Six of the cities, Harris, Lindstrom, North Branch, Shafer, Taylors Falls and Wyoming, will lose LGA under the new 2008 LGA law, because Kalin’s empty hand swooped in and swiped money from these municipalities.

But that is not all he did. He then voted to clamp a 3.9% lid on local levy increases. So now those 6 cities that lost some LGA, are limited to a 3.9% levy increase for 2009, 2010 and 2011. Talk about a straight jacket! Taxpayers may like the imposed levy cap to keep their tax load down, but it could be tough for a city to fund needed projects, effectively causing taxes to mushroom after the 3 years.

Kalin calls this scenario property tax reform. He doesn’t trust local elected council members to hold the line on property taxes, so he thinks the state legislature should dictate their actions. Kalin and Olseen substituted their decisions for every elected official and every citizen who attends Truth in Taxation hearings to hold a council accountable for its proposed budget.

Kalin can vote to spend $6.6 billion on transportation (and raise taxes the same amount), but he can’t trust locals to make a responsible levy.

He can brag about giving Chisago County $15 million for roads and bridges, but then hog tie local governments so they may be restricted from doing street reconstruction.

He tells us how wonderful he’s been to give out $42 million in LGA (and tax us for that money) and then tells locals they have a lid on how much property tax they can raise.

Kalin’s version of property tax reform is you pay property taxes and you kick in other taxes to the state so he can give it back to you as a wonderful gift called LGA which was reduced for 6 cities in Chisago County.

This rookie legislator has demonstrated his ardent belief in statism and socialism—depend on the state to redistribute wealth and don’t trust the locals with their own money. In his desperate attempt to foster state control, he ended up hurting those whom he represents by swiping LGA and then slamming a lid on our own ability to raise our own local taxes.

This is not the actions of a fiscal or responsible conservative. It’s time to replace him with a true conservative, Don Taylor.

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