Pioneer Press, Letter to the Editor Published Thurs, Feb 1, 2018

It looks like the Saint Paul School District Teachers Union has now voted to go on strike beginning February 13th. All the issues raised in Thursday’s news story, relate to a lack of adequate funding. There’s however no mention of a major reason for this. From my calculation, about $9 million each year is diverted from our public schools to pay debt service, for private development attributed to tax increment financing (TIF). This is done without School Board approval. The worst part is we are committed to this debt for 25 years from the start.

There is very little the City, Ramsey County and our schools have to show for this enormous ongoing expense.

John Mannillo
Co- Chair Saint Paul STRONG

Background info: The point is that Saint Paul Schools need more funding. Calculation: $24 million paid in annual debt for TIF deals. School district receives 38% of property tax revenue. 38% of the $24 million (school portion) is diverted before they ever see this tax funding. Worse yet, they don’t have any say as far as approval. Only the City Council does at the local level.