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A promise to protect Wabasha County taxpayers

I have met with many Wabasha County residents over the past months, listening to their concerns and learning about financial struggles many families are having.

My promise to them is to be a good steward of their money. Data provided by the county finance director and the Minnesota State Auditor's Office for the years 2000-2010 demonstrate that Wabasha County is headed in the wrong direction. The population is decreasing, but spending is rising sharply, leading to higher taxes for property owners. Spending in Wabasha County has far exceeded the rate of inflation. We cannot sustain this pattern.

The state auditor reports that between 2004 and 2010 Wabasha County has gone from ranking 73rd of 87 to 35th of 87 in net tax levy, and property taxes have gone from 76th of 87 to 36th of 87. We must turn this around! We need to cut spending, increase efficiency and maximize the use of space and staff.

The county board must identify the services that are needed by the residents of Wabasha County and spend money wisely to assure these services are provided in an efficient way. I want to continue to working for the taxpayers to achieve these goals.

Merl Norman

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Zumbro Falls

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