Monday, May 19, 2008

The first of many posts on the legislative session 

Over this week I'll post thoughts on the rush to end the Legislative session. Gary has posted liveblogs of the Pawlenty and DFL leadership fly-arounds if you want the snippets. But here's my first thought.

I hate levy limits.

Not so much because there are incentives to always raise your taxes to the cap. Not that they are wrong about this, but that it's not the only reason I would oppose them. (It would be simple to amend that to say that you can raise 3.9% in the first year, by 7.8% over the two-year-ago level in the second year, etc., if that was the only problem.) And not because they are getting $60 million in return for the cap through a new LGA methadone injection. The problem is a local control issue, as St. Cloud Mayor Dave Kleis notes:
We have our own policies limiting the increase to growth and inflation. As a legislator, I've always believed strongly it's a local control issue... you have local elected officials, elected by members of the community and they should make those decisions.
For the very same reason I've always hated term limits. You want to keep sending the same wastrel back to Congress every two years? It's your right to do so. I dislike Rep. Oberstar's views, but it's none of my business if his district thinks he's a wonderful provider of bike trails and sends him back every two years; the most I can do is send donations to his opponents as an expression of my free speech and maybe write a letter or two to his district newspapers.

If a city wants to tax its citizens an additional 7% in a down economy and if those citizens return those city councilors and mayor back to office, they get what they want. Why the DFL and Pawlenty think they can make this decision better than the municipalities can, is beyond me.

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