Tax hikes will hurt

Published 11:10 am Wednesday, May 1, 2013

By Dennis Schminke

Barely 20 days remain in the 2013 session of the Minnesota legislature. Governor Dayton is working with the House and Senate to put the finishing touches on their tax and budget bills for the coming biennium. We the taxpayers are at a critical time in that process.

We regularly see columns in this newspaper from Rep. Jeanne Poppe and Sen. Dan Sparks. The general tone of these columns is to tell us how great their proposals will be for all of us. Words are chosen very carefully — with a great deal of ink devoted to the ideas of “investment,” and “revenue.”

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As a public service to Southeast Minnesotans, I offer the following translation: When a DFL politician says “investment,” they mean spending. And when they say “revenue” (as in “additional”), they mean taxes.

Finally, this past week, all the cards are now on the table. Every Minnesotan should know these facts: The most recent projected budget deficit is $627 million. Plans originating from the Governor’s mansion and the DFL-controlled legislature will raise the tax burden on all Minnesota taxpayers by $1.6 billion to $2.6 billion — and that amount is over and above a projected $2.0 billion increase in “revenue” (taxes) largely attributable to an improving economy. These plans contain increases in sales taxes, income taxes, tobacco taxes, alcohol taxes, and water taxes, just to name a few. Most offensive is the fact that they will fall on nearly all Minnesotans, not just the top earners.

Bottom line: Governor Dayton and the DFL-controlled legislature are working on a tax-and-spend blow-out — which will increase the state’s budget by an estimated 10-12 percent in just two years. Most Minnesota families will not be planning to spend 10 percent more next year. Rather, they will be forced to cut spending on things that are important to them — in order to pay their higher tax bill.

Little time remains before these decisions are finalized. If you are concerned about the direction they are going, you should contact Rep. Poppe and Sen. Sparks immediately, and tell them what you think.