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. My website is www.georgewimmer.com

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Taxable Market Values


This graph shows just how bad it has gotten as our overall city tax base has started a rapid decline. We have lost over $137,000,000 or 37% of our tax base from the all time high.

This being said I think the real question needs to be asked is why did the County continue to increase everyone's property values in 2007, 2008 and 2009 when it was clear the real estate market was collapsing then? This gave a false impression of City wealth and made it very difficult every time I said things are very tough and we need to cut cost and keep our long term spending in line.

As you follow the bell curve year to year on each side of the high point matching very closely and can be used as a harbinger of what is yet to come....

This cold reality is being faced by all communities in regions like ours that grew so rapidly....

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

A Quick Note on Property Values

County told us property values would drop 2% and we budgeted accordingly .. now they tells us 22%... I have a lot of late nights coming.. I will not raise your taxes as most other cities, counties and school districts will do. I believe if your property value goes down so should your taxes... I will be redoing the budget over the next 2 weeks to cover the hundreds of thousands of dollars we will be losing... I will then present these items to the City Council for approval.... I have a lot of work ahead of me so please be patient if I do not respond as quickly to request... This is why I developed a strong fund balance and long range budget plan that handles just such problems....

Monday, October 03, 2011

A Quick County vs City Comparison

I have been spending some time looking at the spending increases at our County. I have stripped out Human services and roads budgets considering a great deal of those expenditures are mandated or controlled at the state and federal level and the County Board is simply a pass through for these activities. I concentrated on the general fund which is what the County Board has the most control over. Since 2006 the County Board has had an 11% increase in spending. That number does not sound too bad except for the fact that since becoming the Mayor of Isanti I have decreased spending by 12% and have increased the service level of our City.

There is a lot of talk about reforming government and reducing the tax burden and government spending. While those at the County, State and Federal level talk about slowing the increase in spending we do it.

We have driven down net debt per capita debt by 276% , nearly doubled our fund reserves, cut property taxes by 30% and brought in dozens of new businesses. We need to take these lessons to the next level of government and show them how to preserve the money in our wallets and not preserve their salaries and expense accounts.

Government is a service provider and must understand its own cost structure and bring the systemic changes needed at the employee cost level or true spending reductions will never be made. I hope the County gets a handle on these issues so they do not keep coming back year after year with tax increases as they are doing once again this year. A few percent each year may not seem like a lot but it adds up as each couple percent stacks on top of the last tax increase. 

Reform and more efficient government is not that hard.... you  just need to have the strength to fight for whats important and be willing to see it through to the end.