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, December 12, 2011

Saturday, December 10, 2011

County Board Elections Matter

The City of Isanti cuts taxes 11% yet the County continues to increase taxes... We need fiscal leadership at the County" Elections matter and all 5 County Board seats are up for reelection... We need to take our fiscal policy success to the County next year....

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Saving Money by Absorbing Clerk Duties in City Administrator Position

Isanti saved $32,000 by replacing our Clerk with assistant clerk and paying our Administrator $7000 more to take on statutory clerk duties... Council Member Larson and Lundeen objected to this at last nights Council meeting. If we did not pay our Administrator to do the Clerk duties we would have had to hire another position. 

It is easy to score political points by opposing what appears to be an expense but it is really a savings of $32,000 because our previous clerk cost the City $89,000 in salary and benefits... we replaced this with an assistant clerk/hr position costing us $50,000 salary and benefits.... take away the $7,000 for the legally required statutory duties of a clerk that were absorbed by the City Administrator and you get to our total savings of $32,000. If we did not take these actions we would have lost money...

I found it incredulous that those that have wasted taxpayers money so frivolously in the past would make such an argument. Leadership entails educating the public not simply bending to uninformed opinion....

Monday, December 05, 2011

The State Raises Business Taxes

Our State Republican Senate and House along with DFL Governor passed changes in property tax law that suppressed the value of owner occupied homes to lower their tax burden but SHIFTED these taxes to businesses ... If you did not get that .. they raised taxes on businesses in hypocritical way leaving local government entities having to explain a law we had nothing to do with.... We cut taxes 11% in Isanti and yet some homes and most businesses are paying more in taxes due to this nonsense.
Maybe this is why for the first time I have been Mayor neither our State Representative or State Senator has come to an Isanti City Council Meeting.... If you are going to vote to raise our businesses taxes at least you could come explain why....

Friday, December 02, 2011

More Homestead Tax Fiasco Fallout

Example of MN's secret tax on business/industrial property passed by a Rep Legislature and signed by a DFL Governor http://www.presspubs.com/isanti/news/article_25f24528-1c67-11e1-81e5-001871e3ce6c.

The Homestead tax credit ending not only hurts homeowners but also shifts cost to business property... just terrible

Winter 2011 Isantian Article

When I last wrote my Mayor’s Letter for the Fall Isantian, I had shared the many accomplishments we have been able to achieve and how we were progressing into the next stage of Isanti’s future. Since then we have experienced a sudden 22% reduction in our City’s overall property tax value. This added to recent years has brought us to a 37% reduction. Going through the raw data I believe we are on track to see a 50% total reduction in City taxable value by 2014 since the highest valued year of 2009. This is a seismic shift in City finances due in large part to two major factors – economic pressures on the housing market and the State’s elimination of the Homestead Tax Credit.

The first reason is fairly clear, the bursting of the housing bubble, foreclosure issue and high unemployment have all led to the rapid reduction in property values. The second reason deserves more of an explanation as this change has now finally become a reality as each of us has received our property tax statements. In an effort by the State of Minnesota to balance its own budget they have used shifts in school funding, reduced local government aid significantly and eliminated the homestead tax credit. The state’s financial gimmicks have not saved any money nor has it reduced exploding state spending by double digits. What it has done is shift significant cost to local government.

The Homestead Credit was a way the State gave homeowners a reduced property tax bill without hurting local government and the revenue it relies upon to pay for services. The amount of the Homestead Credit given to homeowners was a reduction paid to local government but the State reimbursed local governments for this credit so no revenue was lost. The recent change gives homeowners a reduction in taxable property value but does not reimburse local governments for the lost revenue. This leaves a $138,000 plus hole in our City budget that must be filled. School districts, counties and cities are all hurt by this change. This is a shift of over $260,000,000 from State responsibility to local levels of government. This recent change Is especially bad since the State is on a fiscal year end of June and counties and cities are on a year end of December 31st. This change comes in the middle of our fiscal year. On a side note … Legislature, please sync all of our fiscal years so we are all working under the same calendar.

This brings us to our recent county tax statements showing dramatic reductions in taxable value. This new lower taxable value is the State’s way of trying to lower property taxes when they know local governments already hit by lowering values will still need to bring in at least what they had already planned to, thus eliminating any true savings but effectively shifting blame to counties, schools and cities.

In Isanti, we are not increasing the amount of taxes we had planned but instead for 2012, we will be spending less than we did in 2006. By continuing to find cost savings while still creating a positive environment for our existing businesses to grow and attracting new businesses, we will be able to ride through this latest crisis. I felt it necessary to give some explanation to the recent State budget gimmick as it does affect local governments even though my long range budget plan is able to absorb these cost shifts. These are very challenging times that we must work through together and many tough choices will still need to be made in the years to come. The recent 5 year plan I proposed to the City Council will guide us through these difficult decisions and keep moving us forward to a brighter tomorrow.

If you have any questions, concerns or comments please contact me at 763-442-8749 or email me at George@georgewimmer.com . You may also follow me on Twitter at twitter.com/mayorwimmer Facebook at facebook.com/GeorgeAWimmer or my blog at georgewimmer.blogspot.com