Sen. Don Samuelson, DFL-Brainerd, criticized the House omnibus tax bill that passed May 4 as one that favors the Twin Cities area and the wealthy.
The bill would change the rate for residential apartment, agriculture and cabins to 1 percent of the full value of the property. The bill would also have the state take over 100 percent of the general education levy.
"The problem I see is that low and moderate value homes will have a higher burden placed on them while the highest valued homes would receive a significant decrease in their property taxes," he said. "The vast majority of homes in Crow Wing and Morrison County will lose under the House bill."
He said the same situation would hold true for the state take-over of 100 percent of the general education levy with school districts with the highest property value receiving large property tax decreases while those with low and moderate value properties seeing little decrease. There is not enough school equalization aid to prevent the funding gap between rich and poor school districts from widening, he said.
Powwow planned to recognize veterans
ONAMIA -- The Mille Lacs Indian Museum will host its annual American Indian Memorial Day Powwow to recognize and honor American Indian veterans on May 28.
The public is invited to attend this contemporary powwow.
The powwow will begin at 1 p.m. May 28 with a grand entry and invocation followed by a veterans honor song. Vendors selling American Indian crafts and fry bread also will be on hand throughout the afternoon.
The museum, operated by the Minnesota Historical Society, traces the history and current status of the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe through exhibits, interactive activities, objects and written information. The adjacent 1930s trading post has been fully restored and offers locally made crafts and related merchandise as well as an exhibit highlighting the post's history.
Cost is $6 for adults, $5 for senior citizens and $4 for children ages 6-12.
The museum is located on Highway 169, 12 miles north of Onamia.
For more information, call 320-532-3632.
Groundbreaking for maintenance shop
CAMP RIPLEY -- A groundbreaking celebration for the second and final phase of the Combined Support Maintenance Shop at Camp Ripley was conducted Tuesday.
The second phase is a $6.5 million project that will add an additional 60,400 square-feet of workspace, 46 work areas, two mechanic work bays, two lubrication bays with vehicle lifts and a tire work bay.
The 82,000 square-foot first phase was finished in 1998. Both phases were designed by Hagemeister and Mack Architects in St. Cloud. Construction was done by Fulco Construction, out of Chaska.
Man found guilty
AITKIN -- A Swatara man found guilty of drug charges Friday in Aitkin County District Court could face 86 months in prison.
Larry Hilton, 42, was found guilty by a jury first-degree conspiracy to commit a controlled substance crime.
The charge stems from a September 1999 search warrant executed at Hilton's residence in Macville Township, where several items used to make methamphetamine were found, including pseudoephedrine, tubing, battery parts and muriatic acid.
Aitkin County Attorney Brad Rhodes said Hilton and another man, Dennis Gowell, were in the process of manufacturing several batches of methamphetamine. Authorities were informed of the crime by an informant.
Rhodes said $200 worth of chemicals to make methamphetamine would yield $1,800 of the drug wholesale.
Dennis Gowell, 31, was found guilty by a jury on Nov. 22, 1999, and sentenced to 93 months in prison.
Hilton's sentencing date has not been set. A pre-sentencing investigation has been ordered. Rhodes said the presumptive sentence would be 86 months.
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