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Duluth Eyes Up Similar Cities for Financial Insight

Posted at: 01/24/2013 11:12 PM
Updated at: 01/25/2013 10:34 AM
By: Dayna Landgrebe

Duluth city councilors are charged with many tasks. A major one--to set the city's budget. To get a better grip on heavy decisions, one councilor is checking out the approach from other Minnesota cities.

Councilor Dan Hartman is asking city administration to start a study looking at other cities around the state and how they're making their fiscal decisions and handling similar problems.

Hartman brought forth the resolution during Thursday night's agenda session. He's looking to cities like Rochester, St. Cloud and Bloomington--places similar to Duluth.

"We're just looking to see a comparison of our different departments. We're also looking to see a comparison of, 'how do they raise money, how do they pay for their services?' But also things like their tax base. How much bigger is their tax base compared to ours?" Hartman said.

He also noted that Minneapolis and St. Paul are also included in this study because they deal with many similar tax systems. However those studies will be done on a per capita rating because of the population difference.

"These are things I think the city should know about, and us, who decide on a budget, should definitely know about," he said.

Hartman said the city hopes to finish the study sometime in July.