To the editor:
Gov. Mark Dayton released his budget proposal this week, proposing $37.9 billion in state spending for the next two years — a 7.6 percent increase in spending paid for by an astonishing 11.9 percent increase in taxes. Dayton has talked for several months about a balanced approach to the budget, so it’s puzzling that he would propose a budget that includes $3.7 billion in tax increases and only $225 million in cuts (a 16:1 ratio of tax increases to spending cuts). I have concerns with how his budget will affect middle class families, job creators, and the education of our students.
Instead of working to streamline government and reduce spending, he is asking middle class families to foot the bill for billions of dollars in new spending. His budget would tax haircuts, car repairs, over-the-counter medicines, and for the first time ever, clothing.
Ninety-two percent of businesses in Minnesota file through individual tax returns and would be hurt by Dayton’s tax hike on the “wealthiest 2 percent.” These businesses are our job creators, and many in the business community are worried that this proposed tax increase will cause jobs and economic activity to leave Minnesota. I firmly believe that the path to prosperity comes from fostering job-friendly policies rather than taxing small businesses and expanding the size of government.
One of my top priorities is paying back the school shift — a priority that has been supported by Republicans and Democrats alike with members of both parties proposing legislation that would pay back most of the remaining balance of the school shift. However, Dayton breaks his promise to end gimmicks by delaying paying back the school shift until 2017.
The Minnesota Legislature now has the task of debating this budget proposal, and I welcome your feedback and questions as we work toward a final budget that will hopefully make Minnesota a better place to live, work, and raise a family.
State representative for District 57B