Letter: Park and rec funding falls short in city budget

Letter to the Editor graphic
We are part of The Trust Project.

The city of Rochester distributed the 2023 property tax statements. Along with the tax statements is the 2022 current city budget and 2023 proposed budget with differences explained below: 

  • City of Rochester revenue chart when summed shows city revenue is up by 20%
  • New property tax levy pushes property taxes up by 6.85%. My property taxes are up 6.5%. Thus the city is in great shape from a revenue position.

The difficulty is the following:

  • Culture and Recreation (Park and Rec) line item received only a 4.15% budget increase.

Thus the Park and Rec budget (majority funding is property tax) increase of 4.15% didn't even meet the associated 6.85% property tax increase in Rochester. I presented this information to Park and Rec and the City Council.

As Rochester taxpayers continue to be drained, the revenue drain is not going equally into the services that the Rochester city resident taxpayers expect. A Park and Rec 4.15% increase is the crumbs that are falling from the massive city tax and puts Park and Rec in the position, because of funding, to look at, for example, shutting down golf courses, changing the tennis courts to pickleball courts (Tennis Club now expresses concerns), and not even having enough money to open the pools.

Destination Medical Center (DMC) is a robust, 20-year, $5.6 billion economic development initiative. Rochester city budget document is 768 pages, and there is no "property taxpayer responsibility for DMC," line item, and I asked the city council for one.


Craig Martens, Rochester

What To Read Next
The U.S. House appears headed to take our country and the global economy into chaos. They refuse to raise the debt ceiling to authorize payment of debts already incurred in exchange for brutal cuts in vital programs across the board (like Social Security and Medicare).
Hang onto your wallets, Minnesotans. The tax and spend Dems are in power. When the Republicans had the majority in the Senate, we generated a surplus and now Walz wants to buy votes by giving some of us a check. That money came from overtaxing us. Such as being one of the few states taxing Social Security benefits. My concern is that we will go down the road taken by bankrupt states like California, New York, Illinois and others run by corrupt liberal politicians.
I see that the World Economic Forum is about to meet again. We can be sure their main determination will be that the USA will have to pay for bailing out several countries around the world. We have several pressing issues at home that require funding, like our southern border and our energy production.
We have a stake in our community when we have a real voice in decisions that affect our lives, whatever our religion, race, or gender. To solve the issues facing our communities, we need everyone’s input at the table. But some politicians try to maintain power by fear mongering and breeding cynicism to limit participation in elections rather than relying on the power of their ideas to win over voters.