Dissecting the LGA formula

Currently, I’m working on a story about Local Government Aid and potential reforms that could come from the upcoming legislative session.

It’s hard to tell that already-wonky story without explaining how the state calculates LGA amounts. So I started by looking at what I already wrote.

This story (http://www.minnpost.com/politics-policy/2012/01/minnesotas-city-aid-discussion-dominated-cuts-confusion-criticism) took four guys and an entire semester of college to do, but helped me understand a lot about the property tax system in Minnesota. It also made me realize how complicated that system is. (Many headaches were endured.)

In the story, we explained that a number of factors, like how old the housing in a city is and how many car crashes happen there, are used to calculate an LGA amount.

Here’s what the city receives every year from the department of revenue explaining where that number came from.

LGA Certification 2011

Whether the program, and Minnesota’s tax system in general becomes easier to understand is up in the air.

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