The Free Press, Mankato, MN

Election 2012

October 6, 2012

District 24: Jensen, Swedin seek Parry’s Senate seat

(Continued)

WASECA —

In any case, there hasn’t been a DFL senator elected in Waseca-Owatonna in more than 40 years.

Policy and partnering

Jensen thinks she has the resume and the skills to end the DFL losing streak.

Too often in recent years, state policy has disproportionately harmed outstate Minnesota — with outstate Minnesota Republicans going along with the changes, Jensen said.

“The market value homestead credit was an example of that,” she said.

The Republican-controlled Legislature proposed the elimination of the credit as part of their effort to eliminate a $5 billion budget shortfall without raising state-level taxes. While some Republicans, noting that the League of Minnesota Cities supported the idea, said they didn’t realize the impact it would have on property taxes, Jensen said they were warned.

She recalled a meeting she attended where both Parry and Democratic Rep. Kory Kath of Owatonna were present.

“Kory Kath said, ‘Your property taxes are going to go up if you go ahead and do this,’” said Jensen, who pointed to rapid jumps in real estate taxes that resulted. “... Minnesota businesses and farms both took a hit.”

Her interest in running for the Senate also was sparked by an announcement by the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce that their proposed legislative agenda included eliminating Local Government Aid, an important source of revenue for many outstate cities.

Jensen was serving as chairwoman of the Owatonna Area Chamber’s public policy committee and questioned the state chamber’s representative at a regional meeting.

“I asked what that would look like here,” she said of the chamber proposal to drop LGA and let cities institute local sales taxes. “They said they hadn’t modeled it in greater Minnesota. When I heard they were proposing a policy and hadn’t modeled it in greater Minnesota, I became very angry.”

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Election 2012