Preliminary tax increases for 2014 for cities are 2.1 percent (Property tax hikes? It's time to speak up," Nov. 20). OK, let's look at this in more detail. These are preliminary numbers, which can and have gone down before final adoption for most Minnesota cities in recent years. Also, this increase is half of what cities were forced to do yearly from 2004 to 2010, when levy increases averaged 5.3 percent.

The reason for these two positive outcomes is the success of the updated LGA formula. Local government aid is tremendously important to communities throughout Minnesota. The work of the governor and Legislature last session put the relationship between the state and local government back on the right track. But we are not done. This one-time infusion of money cannot make up for years of budget manipulation. It is a process and will take time. Our citizens understand the importance of investment in infrastructure, public safety, libraries and the many other critical projects that LGA supports. Let's not yell "fire" in the movie theater just yet.

SUZANNE M. HILGERT; mayor, Olivia, Minn.