About Me

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I have served the City of Isanti as Mayor since 2007. We have accomplished great things together and I look forward to building on our success. United, we move forward to a better future. You may contact me at 763-442-8749 or e-mail me at george@georgewimmer.com.

Monday, July 25, 2011

County EDA Wants to Raise your Taxes

In 2007 the County formed its own County Economic Development Authority  - EDA for short. The 3 cities in Isanti county had to vote to join and then would be members for 5 years and all 14 townships had to be members as they had no special privilege to say no. Cambridge voted to join and Braham voted against joining. When it was Isanti's City Councils turn to decide I argued against joining because I wanted a plan and a set of goals the County EDA wanted to achieve. I was worried the EDA, which has the authority to have a special property tax levy, would start raising taxes for specified reason and by joining our tax payers would have to pay. I lost that vote and the City of Isanti joined the EDA. Although Braham never joined their Mayor was appointed to sit on the EDA Board at the time. I had pushed for years to get an actual short and long term plan in place for the County EDA but this never happened. The City of Isanti has an EDA and a multi-layered plan for economic growth and marketing.

With no set plan or framework for what projects the County would support we approached the County EDA to see if they would help with a future Hotel project. At the time the time the County EDA said they were not interested in commercial projects but wanted to do industrial projects. Fast forward to a commercial project that Cambridge wants to build for more shopping and the County EDA and County Board voted to support Cambridge.

Now the County EDA wants to raise your county property taxes (Braham not being a member can benefit from the money raised but will not be taxed themselves). They passed a resolution on a 4-3 vote to raise and undisclosed amount of taxes for an undisclosed purpose. This is beyond ridiculous.... if you are going to hike property taxes at least say how much and what you plan to spend it on... sounds like the creation of a slush fund...

Commissioners Duff and Warring voted against this but Commissioner Susan Morris and Larry Sutherland voted along with Cambridge Mayor Palmer to raise taxes. The final vote will take place at an undisclosed County Board meeting. Commissioner Larson did not vote on this item as he is the County EDA Chair and the Chair does not have a vote.

At this point we have Duff and Warring saying no and Susan Morris and Larry Sutherland saying yes to hiking your property taxes for an undisclosed amount and purpose and we have yet to hear from Commissioner Larson. Increasing property taxes on Isanti County residents at this time is a terrible idea.

I warned about this in 2007 and was not listened to by the majority of the Isanti City Council. Our 5 years will be up in 2012 and I will be asking the Council to once again vote against being in the County EDA. An organization that has no plan and no budget but sure wants our money for something.....

Local Government

There are over 13,500 City Council, Township Board and County Board members in the state of Minnesota... that's a lot of local government... 

I believe there has to be a reduction in the amount of cities, townships and counties in our state if we are going to have efficient cost effective government. Local Government Aid and other support structures for communities that can not or will not tax enough to support the services their residents need is going away. State government needs to reverse their unnecessary unfunded mandates and let communities keep more of their tax dollars at home. The State also must stop dictating local tax and fee rates. Many of the fees we charge are really hidden state taxes we as a City must charge and collect only to pass it on to the state. The State will yell loudly they are trying to keep taxes low with levy limits on local government but there are so many loop holes in these limits that Swiss cheese is more solidly constructed. Yet the State hides under a rock as their mandated fees are collected by local government and then passed up in something akin to a pyramid scheme. 

Our state level of government complains about "dependent" cities, townships and counties yet it still wants to hold absolute power over us. They want to cut financial ties yet continue to pass unfunded mandates regardless of political party. 

Let us not be fooled the state will cut local aid to all levels of local government then not send the money back to the taxpayer they took it from but simply to spend it else where. Today's local government aid will be spent on some other project tomorrow. So if the Legislature and Governor want to cut these payments I say fine.... but then give the tax payers their money back... don't be hypocrites and simply say you are "saving" then spend it else where....

The last quick point is all this borrowing into the future. School shifts or tobacco bonds or perhaps they will try alchemy next time is just stealing from the future so hard decisions do not have to be made today. Either cut spending or raise taxes or both but stop this legalized theft. As a City we are mandated to have a real balanced budget and to hold all of our decisions making meetings in public and to have at least 72 hours notice of anything we vote on. The State legislative leadership and Governor have no such rules that apply to them. They meet in private for days then give the public and other legislators less than a day to look at the bills and laws they pass. 

I thought we were suppose to be a good government state...

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Coming Post on County EDA soon

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Thursday, July 07, 2011

Outhouse Races this Weekend

Watch for Wimmer's Rock Stars at this weekends race 

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Parade Route

Chairs are going up quickly along the parade route tonight for tomorrow nights parade....

Rodeo Jubilee Days

A list of all Jubilee Events and parade route go to: http://www.isantichamber.com/images/stories/jubilee1_2011_copy_copy.pdf

For Rodeo information go to: http://www.isantifiredistrict.org/isanti_rodeo_assc_