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County loses most of its state aid

Gov. Tim Pawlenty
Gov. Tim Pawlenty

Cook County Commissioners had to dip into a special fund to balance part of their budget for this year. County Program Aid and Market Value Credits were reduced when Gov. Tim Pawlenty signed a budget law sent to him by the Legislature on April 1.
On Tuesday they voted to move $197,000 of Payment in Lieu of Taxes (PILT) funds into their Program Aid account to bring it back up to the $275,500 budgeted for 2010. PILT is federal money paid to the county in lieu of taxes on lands within the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness.
The county’s Program Aid budget is based on a state aid formula. In January the Governor unalloted $149,500 and the new legislation reduced it by another $47,500. In addition, legislation reduced the county’s Market Value Credits reimbursement from $70,200 to zero. According to Auditor-Treasurer Braidy Powers, the county has lost $267,388 in expected aids this year.