Truth in taxation
THUMBS UP: It's that most wonderful time of the year... Truth in Taxation time. Property owners get their notice from the county on what their tax bill next year is likely to be, and we all get the opportunity to go to meetings if we have any questions or concerns.
There have been few things to complain about locally in the last couple of years. Brown County and New Ulm governments have been working hard to hold the line on their spending.
At Tuesday's New Ulm budget meeting, it was announced the city's property tax levy is going up 4.15 percent, but the city council passed a budget that reduces spending next year.
Brown County will be considering its budget next Tuesday, and it looks like the county commissioners are working to hold the line.
The District 88 levy is going up, of course, due to the much-needed levy referendum which passed this last election.
No one likes to see their taxes go up, but it is evident that our local units of government are doing what they can to minimize the increases.
Stadium funds lag
THUMBS DOWN: Minnesota plans on paying for a big share of a new Minnesota Vikings stadium with funds from electronic pull tabs and electronic bingo.
Reports this week show the funds from those revenue sources are lagging. The problem is that there aren't very many electronic pulltab machines up and running yet, so its not time to panic. After all, the pulltabs have been legal less than three months.
But the state should keep a careful, concerned eye on the program. If electronic pulltab gambling isn't going to cover the state's share of the stadium, the state will have to find another source. It should not be looking to the general tax revenues.
Snow on the way, drive carefully
THUMBS UP: The area is expecting its first significant snowfall of the year this weekend. While it's always exciting and fun for the kids, motorists tend to get a little nervous this time of year. It seems like we forget the finer points of driving on snow after a while without it.
So please take things carefully if you are driving. Leave yourself plenty of room when pulling out into traffic, and when you are stopping. Accelerate slowly, and brake sooner. Watch for slippery spots on bridges. Give yourself extra time to get where you are going, and slow down. Make sure your brakes and tires and windshield wipers are in good shape. You'll need them.
Good luck, and enjoy the wintery weather.