To the Editor:
After reviewing Gov. Mark Dayton's latest budget proposal, I am disappointed that the governor is moving full speed ahead with his tax-and-spend proposals.
With Democrats in control of the Minnesota House and Senate, Gov. Dayton now has no reason to work with legislative Republicans on controlled spending or government reform.
We are just starting to get out of a recession. Now is not the time to further add pain on the citizens of Minnesota by increasing their taxes.
Gov. Dayton's budget would increase state spending by more than $2.5 billion dollars, and increase taxes by $3.7 billion to pay for it.
The governor is attempting to claim he is reforming the tax code by giving all Minnesota property owners a property tax rebate of up to $500, and lowering the state sales tax rate to 5.5 percent. The problem is the governor's proposal would radically increase the number of goods and services that would fall under the jurisdiction of the sales tax. Clothing purchases, car repairs, daycare, Internet purchases, haircuts and over-the-counter medications would all be taxed if the governor's plan became law.
While Minnesotans might appreciate the rebate - which is expected to cost $1.4 billion - the governor is still raising $3 billion in taxes to pay for it. Further, the rebates would disappear in the future but the expanded sales tax would not, meaning the average Minnesotan would ultimately pay much more in their lifetime than they would by cashing the rebate checks.
Plain and simple, this proposal is a tax increase on the working poor and our middle class. Gov. Dayton has not explained why Minnesota needs to spend $2.5 billion more over the next two years, but it's crystal clear that he wants everyone to pay for more government spending.
State Rep. Bob Gunther,