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State Auditor Continues Spending Taxpayer Dollars to Fight New Law that Saves Wright County Taxpayers Money

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

SAINT PAUL, MINN— Last week, State Auditor Rebecca Otto stated that she would appeal a court ruling that a 2015 law allowing counties to partner with Certified Public Accounting (CPA) firms for their annual audits was constitutional. Before the law took effect, 28 counties were already allowed to use CPA firms, and the new law expanded it to give all 87 counties that flexibility. The law passed with bipartisan support and was signed into law by Governor Mark Dayton.

“Wright County taxpayers were forced to foot the bill to defend a new law intended to save taxpayers money. That law was held up in court as constitutional and now, Auditor Otto has decided to continue fighting this common sense law at additional expense to the hardworking taxpayers of our community,” said Representative Marion O-Neill, R-Maple Lake. “This frivolous lawsuit is a waste of taxpayer money and government resources, and I am disappointed she is prolonging this ridiculous pursuit with an appeal.”

To date, Minnesota taxpayers have been forced to pay at least $220,000 in legal fees because of Otto’s legal challenge, in addition to tens of thousands of dollars incurred by counties named as parties in the lawsuit including Wright County.

“The job of the State Auditor is to work on behalf of taxpayers, not fight them in court. Auditor Otto should accept the court’s ruling and get back to work as the taxpayers’ watchdog instead of continuing down this irresponsible path of fighting to overturn a good law,” added Rep. O’Neill.

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