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A few clarifications

October 19, 2012
Fairmont Sentinel

To the Editor:

A recent letter to the editor by my opponent included some information that needs to be corrected.

1. Property taxes are decreasing. In 2013, projected homestead property taxes will decrease by 1.6 percent, according to numbers provided by Minnesota House researchers. This is in contrast to the statement that "95 percent of us will see our property taxes rise."

2. The Market Value Homestead Credit does not provide "direct property tax relief to homeowners" as my opponent claimed. The credit was deducted from each local government's tax on the homestead in proportion to its share of the gross tax. It never was, and never has been, given directly to you as was stated.

3. Local Government Aid was not cut. Despite my opponent's claim, Local Government Aid payments will be exactly the same as last year because the program was not reduced.

We have had many positive accomplishments during my past two years in the Minnesota House. Since lawmakers eliminated a $5.2 billion deficit and created a $1.2 billion surplus in one year, revenue collections continue to outpace projections every month.

More Minnesotans have also found work - more than 40,000 now have a job when compared to employment data from two years ago. Our state unemployment rates dropped from 7.5 percent to 5.7 percent. And it's worth noting that Minnesota's unemployment rate is lower than the national unemployment rate, and southern Minnesota's unemployment numbers are even lower than the state average. While we continue to find ways to provide even more, better paying jobs, we have definitely put our state on the right path.

The bottom line is this: Property taxes for homeowners are projected to decrease in 2012, and Minnesota's economy has turned around, two actual facts.

State Rep. Bob Gunther




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