The Minnesota Department of Revenue last week unveiled its planned payments for Local Government Aid programs, where the state helps local communities with an infusion of cash collected via state taxes and fees into city budgets.
The announcement, this year, comes as cities such as Albertville and St. Michael, as well as surrounding areas, are mapping out their 2015 budgets with workshops, planning meetings and other informational meet-ups involving city councils, planning commissions and city staff.
“It’s not money we really include in that process,” said City Administrator Steven Bot of St. Michael. “If it comes, great. If it doesn’t, we’ve always planned to move ahead without out it, so it really doesn’t impact that bottom line.”
Last year, for example, St. Michael was able to pay outright for a used fire rescue vehicle that upgraded the St. Michael Fire Department’s fleet. The new truck included a mobile command area and provided more room for tanks, gear and firefighters.
“I think the public appreciates it when you invest those dollars into something like first response and public service,” Bot said. “And if the LGA doesn’t come, we budget for it in a different manner.”
Here’s a look at who’s getting what in 2015:
Monitcello – $0 (does not receive aid due to Xcel Energy Plant tax revenue)
Hanover – $105,859
Albertville – $87,096
Otsego – $123,947
St. Michael – $263,556
Buffalo – $703,609 (county seat)
The state’s leaders in local aid were Minneapolis, who is receiving $77.4 million, while St. Paul is receiving $61.9. Virginia, Minnesota, receives more than $5 million in aid, which would make it the most LGA per population.