Letter to the editor: Federal government works, tooThe column by St. Louis County Commissioner Chris Dahlberg, printed on June 30, headlined “Local government works” chastises the federal government for the Affordable Care Act. He also criticizes Washington, D.C., relative to its tax policies.
The column by St. Louis County Commissioner Chris Dahlberg, printed on June 30, headlined “Local government works” chastises the federal government for the Affordable Care Act. He also criticizes Washington, D.C., relative to its tax policies.
Local governments would have to increase the regressive property taxes on commercial buildings and our homes to unbearable levels if federal and state governments did not share revenues. Our cities, counties and schools get more money from federal and state governments than the Twin Cities Metropolitan Region per capita. How would local governments fund such necessary services as education, health and human services, as well as roads, streets and bridges without federal and state government aid?
The past decade and longer, D.C. cut income tax $1.36 trillion and the state almost $5 billion, and therefore real estate taxes have skyrocketed because of federal and state deficits.
The Minnesota county government is the most archaic of all governmental systems. It was created to take care of roads and bridges in the 19th century, and it is still pretty much that way with so many more responsibilities.
In 1973-1974 Legislative sessions we passed the County Options Act to reform the system. Even though the DFL had the majority in both Houses (for the first time in the state’s history) and DFL Governor Wendell Anderson, GOP State Rep. Stangland, who later went to Congress, carried this important legislation. I supported it, because it gave county commissioners an option to establish an elected county executive plus other improvements. Our county boards did not do that in 40 years; instead, they appointed an executive.
I hope Commissioner Dahlberg will work for this change as well as create a study composed of county, city and township governments to find out how much duplication of service there is in our county and consider doing what some other regions like Milwaukee and surrounding towns have done with their metro system without county [funding] and saving a lot of money for the cities in that area.