This legislative session can be described as DFL overreach as Democrats took every opportunity to grow the size of state government and take more of our hard-earned income through tax increases.
The DFL created a fourth tier income tax that increases the rate for married earners making over $250,000 and single earners making over $150,000, by 25 percent. Cigarette taxes will go up $1.60 per pack, along with expanded sales taxes and business-to-business taxes. In total, the Democrats’ tax bill will raise taxes on all Minnesotans by $2.1 billion. Overall, state spending increases by more than 8 percent.
Their changes in energy policy will increase our electric bills, while their stated goal is to eliminate the use of fossil fuels. This means no coal-powered power plants and no gasoline to run our automobiles, airplanes, tractors, etc.
The DFL also passed same-sex marriage, passed the right to unionize private day care and created a new health insurance exchange to implement Obamacare. They had plans to tax all clothing purchases and increase the tax on beer, wine and alcohol by 600 percent, but did not accomplish this … yet.
This session we observed what happens with liberal, one-party rule, making life in Minnesota more expensive for all. However, if we want sustainability when it comes to state government, we must return to living within our means and refocusing on our core priorities. Minnesota will become a leader for prosperity when we control spending and growth in government. Minnesota will become a leader for prosperity when we reduce the tax burden on individuals and businesses, and when we utilize our natural resources, like copper and nickel, to create jobs and wealth.
Periodic state economic forecasts have shown that the budget passed last biennium worked for Minnesota. Last biennium’s budget produced about $1 billion in surplus that allowed us to replenish state reserves and payback the school shift. Further, it allowed job producers to grow their businesses to bring the state unemployment down to prerecession levels.
Thank you to everyone who offered your thoughts and input this legislative session.
Sen. Dave Brown