To the editor,
This letter is to urge local citizens to join me in asking State Auditor Rebecca Otto to abide by the recent court dismissal of her heavy-handed suit against three Minnesota counties – including Wright.
The suit is over legislation enacted in 2015 to allow counties the option of hiring a private Certified Public Accountant firm to handle the audits instead of being forced to be subjects of the Auditor’s system. It is a good law which passed with bipartisan support. The core objective of providing counties with the flexibility to conduct business as they see fit – in the name of efficiency and taxpayer savings.
Instead of recognizing the value in that approach, Otto is engaging in a turf war, bent on protecting government bureaucracy. Not only is Otto preventing counties from achieving savings, she already has spent at least $220,000 in taxpayer dollars with this lawsuit and has forced Wright, Becker and Ramsey counties to spend at least $50,000 to defend themselves in court.
All this to resist a change that was approved by a Democrat Senate, a Republican House and was signed into law by a Democrat governor, himself a former State Auditor.
It appeared Otto’s wasteful endeavor may had run its course when District Court Judge Lezlie Ott Marek recently dismissed the suit. The kicker came when Otto indicated a few days later that she was filing an appeal.
This game has gone on long enough. Expenditures from the Auditor’s office eventually are handed down to counties, meaning the more Otto fights this bipartisan law and the judge’s ruling, the more our property taxes will rise. It is ultimately a tax increase shrouded in a lawsuit.
Rep. Joe McDonald
To the editor,