Seifert: City’s 2018 LGA allocation will be its largest ever

    The Minnesota Legislature’s 2018 allocation of Local Government Aid for the City of Crookston in 2018 will be just a hair over $3.7 million, an increase over the City’s 2017 LGA allocation of approximately $100,000. That’s enough, a lobbyist for the Coalition of Greater Minnesota Cities recently told City officials, to make Crookston’s 2018 LGA allocation its largest ever received from the state.

    Initially, Marty Seifert explained, the legislature’s LGA allocation to Crookston next year would have been as much as $150,000 more than 2017, but it would have been a one-time bump. Seifert, who works for Flaherty Hood, PA, said the CGMC was able to convince legislators to allocate ongoing LGA funds, not one-time increases. As a result, Seifert explained, Crookston’s 2018 LGA increase dropped some, but he figures it’s worth it in the long run.

    “We told them one-time money is difficult to deal with, and I think we were very persuasive on that,” he said. “You can’t hire a police officer and then lay him off the next year.

    “The juice was worth the squeeze on LGA,” Seifert added.

    When it comes to revenue derived from annual property tax collections, Crookston is seen as a Minnesota community that is particularly challenged by its lack of property tax wealth. Therefore, the percentage of Crookston’s general fund that is derived from LGA dollars is among the highest in the state.

    Seifert, who was once a longtime Republican legislator who ran on the Republican ticket for Minnesota governor in 2014, said that while it’s unfortunate that it seems legislators and the governor each spring cannot seem to successfully wrap things up without going into a special session – as was the case again in 2017 – if cities like Crookston come out ahead on things like LGA, transportation funding and tax breaks as a result of the longer session, it is perhaps worth the wait.

    “I guess I would rather they go an extra couple days and get these results,” Seifert said, adding that he spoke to District 1B State Rep. Deb Kiel (R-Crookston) and they both agreed that “Crookston and this area in general did very well"