Local Gov't Accountability Roundup: 8/31/11

RED WING: United Way Opposes Proposed City Energy Fee as a Tax on Tax-Exempt Groups The city is exploring adding a monthly fee to gas and electric bills to raise nearly $350,000 and help backfill a $1 million budget deficit. Local non-profit leaders, however, say “in the guise of fairness” the proposal amounts to a “way to tax tax-exempt organizations.”

DULUTH: No Deal-Check Cleared but City Rejects $20,000 Bid for Skyline Views  Council members want to go back to the drawing board on selling city property. Parcel with eight lots and spectacular skyline vistas sold for $20,000 but would-be buyer says a handshake is evidently not a handshake with city officials. 

WINONA: City Suggests More than 4 Percent Property Tax Levy Decrease for 2012  Water and sewer rates would increase to reflect real cost to city, there will be no new programs or initiatives and funding for local museums would be reduced by half under proposed “conservative” budget.

HUTCHINSON: County Board Supports Penalty for Political Gridlock If the legislature and governor do not reach agreement on a budget by the end of the session, McLeod County commissioners have a suggestion. They should immediate stand for re-election as a consequence.

TWO HARBORS: Let’s Make a Deal with Rock-bottom City Property for New Business and Jobs City officials struggling to attract new development go all out to land business and jobs, even if it means essentially giving away the property for a buck.

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