Local Government Aid
“We believe local government aid is a property tax relief program.”
— John Sundvor, a media consultant for the Coalition of Greater Minnesota Cities, which in February called for the state Legislature to assist local governments in rural Minnesota. (Source)
Despite the fact I was on the parliamentary debate team in college, I hated the concept of debate. Really, learning debate is more about sophistry and obfuscation than about anything positive. Socrates was killed on conviction of the charge “making the weaker argument the stronger” and that is now a virtue in the world of debate. (and law?)
Unfortunately politics is now a breeding ground for people who are well practiced in the art of bullshit. Whether through lies, sophistry, ignorance or idiocy statements like the one above are fed to the public on a daily basis.
Local Government Aid (LGA) is not tax relief. With enough alcohol and spinning it might be possible to describe it as a tax offset, but it is not tax relief. It is redistribution.
The state takes from the city and then the cities fight to retain the money which was taken. It pits municipalities against each other. Every city wants LGA but not every city receives what was taken from it. LGA forces the State to favor some cities over others.
In fact, the amount of money taken from cities through taxes is never equivalent to the money given back. The state absorbs some money in fees, administration and other costs. There is simply no free lunch when it comes to government.