This week, Democrats in the House unveiled a $250 million dollar proposal that would provide more tax relief for homeowners and new local government aid for communities.
While I generally support property tax relief, I believe rather than simply issuing a refund, we need to be addressing the problem directly to help bring down property tax rates. I'm also disappointed that the property tax relief did not extend to businesses or farmers. Minnesota farmers have experienced double digit percent increases in property values, which has led to large property tax increases.
This is the wrong approach, and does nothing to solve the overarching problem.
Bailout for Public Pensions
I am extremely troubled by a proposal making its way through the legislature that serves to bail out underwater police and fire pensions by raising the price of home and auto insurance for all Minnesotans.
The pensions have billions of dollars in unfunded obligations because of a combination of gross financial mismanagement coupled with the recession that took place over the last several years.
While it's unfortunate that the pensions are not financially stable, I don't believe it's the job of the taxpayers to provide a publicly-funded bailout. Thousands of Minnesotans saw their retirement accounts lose value during the recession, and unfortunately don't have the power to arbitrarily tax other Minnesotans to help recover that money. Hardworking Minnesotans should not be used as a credit card to bail out public pensions.
Assault on Silica Sand Industry
Democrats are moving forward with a proposal to raise taxes on silica sand and gravel production -- an industry that provides many good-paying jobs in Southern Minnesota.
This legislation will send jobs out of our state and is a blatant attempt by the Democrats to tax an industry they don't like out of business. Silica sand is an important industry for Minnesota's economy, and is vitally important for the production of energy across the nation.
This sends the wrong message to the silica sand industry and is bad for jobs in Minnesota.
Have a great weekend,
State Representative, District 15A