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Rybak says he’ll fix the streets without a property tax hike

Minneapolis Mayor R.T.

Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak says he can fix the city streets and still hold the lid on property taxes.

In his budget proposal today, he said he hopes to keep the overall property tax level the same in 2012, although some properties with higher assessments could see an increase. And there will be some who see increases because state homestead aid was cut.

Last year, a 4.7 percent hike meant double-digit property tax increases for some homeowners.

To keep city costs down, Rybak plans to eliminate 90 mostly middle- or high-level jobs. And he’s counting on city police union to approve a merger of the police and fire pension funds with a state fund. If the police don’t agree, this proposed plan won’t work.

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And Rybak wants to use $57 million over five years to fix roads, starting in 2013. Drivers in the city will be glad.