This editorial was printed recently in the Free Press of Mankato.
Gov. Tim Pawlenty and other state leaders are telling us this is a time for budget cuts, reduced taxes and fiscal restraints. Something tells us that financially stressed cities and counties aren't listening, and we can't really blame them.
Mankato and North Mankato agreed in principle to 25-percent increases in most of the cities' fees.
... Fees for building permits, cigarette and liquor licenses, annexation petitions and snow removal will increase in one or both cities. Licenses or permits for dogs, dancing, carnivals, document copies, pinball machines, peddlers, mobile home parks, soft drinks and beer in parks are going to go up.
On-sale liquor licenses are supposed to jump from $2,700 to $3,370, the maximum allowed by the state.
If the city councils pass the measures, new fees will go into effect next year. There's no report of fees for walking, breathing or sitting on a park bench, but maybe that's because those ideas haven't been considered yet.
... So much for the "no new taxes" promised at the state level.
Elected officials would have us believe the choice lies between drastically curtailed services or finding new and creative ways to increase revenues. It isn't that simple.
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