The Free Press, Mankato, MN

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April 2, 2014

DFL tax plan only gives 30 percent back

School boards may levy new taxes without asking voters

(Continued)

The reality is that after giving back 30 percent of the surplus, Minnesota Democrats have still increased state spending by over $1,500 for every man, woman and child in our state in this biennium.

Included in the tax bill that Democrats wanted to push through without allowing the GOP time to read is a Local Equity Revenue provision resulting in a $52 million property tax increase allowing school boards to levy up to $724 per pupil in new property taxes, without an operating referendum.

The Democrats promised property tax reductions that didn’t materialize with the last tax bill and are now compounding the problem.

There were many other amendments and suggestions made by Republicans to this bill that would have helped families including retroactively repealing the Democrats business-to-business tax[iv] and applying the fix to the marriage penalty[v] that robs over 600,000 married filers of substantial income tax savings.

One Amendment [vi] that I think is notable, offered by Republicans, would have repealed taxes on military pensions, which sets Minnesota apart as a state to avoid for military retirees. I’d like to see our retired military families retire here to start business and raise their families but Democrats voted nay.

Ultimately, Democrats are hoping Minnesota voters will be happy with them throwing a few dollars back on the sidewalk and forget that the money came from hard working Minnesotans in the first place.

In the meantime at the Capitol, the DFL continues to fight over whether to build a new $90 million Senate office building for themselves. I don’t think they need it or deserve it. But, then again, when you’re a Democrat and in control, spending other people’s money is always easy.

Al DeKruif is a former District 25 GOP state senator. He is the owner of DeKruif Enterprises and Sakatah Trail Resort. He lives in Madison Lake. Footnoted sources can be found online with this article at www.mankatofreepress.com/letters

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