Tag Archives: Democrats

New economic report for MN

Rep. Paul Anderson (12B) – Legislative Update

Dear Neighbor,

A column I submitted to newspapers throughout the district this week addressed, among other things, the new state economic forecast we received.

The new report is the latest to show revenue above previous projections, extending a run of positive reports which started in Nov. of 2011. This is good news, but we need to be cautious as we examine what to do with this “found” money.

I support using part of the surplus revenue to repeal some of the new taxes Gov. Mark Dayton and fellow Democrats passed earlier this year. I oppose applying it to added state spending at this time, especially if it commits us to spending into the future.

At any rate, we need to hold tight until the February forecast is issued with a new set of complete numbers. A lot could change between now and then and the report itself indicated there is volatility in tax increases.

Here is a link to my column, with more details and my thoughts on the matter. Also, here is a link to the complete economic report from Minnesota Management & Budget. I will keep you in the loop as things develop.



Minnesota One of the Worst Tax Climate States

Dear Friends:

The non-partisan Tax Foundation recently released the 2014 edition of the State Business Tax Climate Index which ranks Minnesota in the bottom ten states that suffer from “complex, non-neutral taxes with comparatively high rates.” Minnesota dropped from 45th to 47th place on their list. That is not the right direction. According to the report, Minnesota “enacted a package of tax changes that reduce the state’s competitiveness.” The new taxes include a new sales tax on personal vehicle repairs, farm equipment repairs, and a retroactive hike in the individual income tax rate. You can find the full report here: http://tinyurl.com/qg4j64d.

Governor Mark Dayton and the Democrats’ 2013 all tax budget can take most of the credit for this and will take more from hard working Minnesota families by implementing new taxes and failing to conform to some federal tax codes.

 Some examples of these new taxes include:

 Farmers Tax: Farmers and all consumers will be affected by the new sales taxes on warehousing and storage. Items such as propane, fertilizer, groceries, etc… may be affected by this tax.

Small Business Tax: This tax imposes new “Business to Business” sales taxes of $314 million over FY 2014-15 through a sales tax expansion including warehousing and storage, electronic and precision equipment repair, and commercial and industrial machinery and equipment repair.

 Tax on Rural Broadband and Cellular Services: Cable, telephone, and cellular companies must now add a sales tax on routers, switches, amplifiers, and digital processors that they purchase. Former DFL Speaker of the House Margaret Anderson Kelliher has even expressed concerns over these new taxes. There “will be slower adoption of high-speed Internet in outstate Minnesota,” stated Kelliher and that this new tax is a “step backward.”

Motorist (Wheelage) Tax: Under current law, metropolitan counties can collect $5 on every vehicle, per year. Under a new law passed last session, counties are allowed to collect $10 from 2014-2016 and up to $20 thereafter on every vehicle your family owns.

Adoption Tax Credit: On your federal taxes, families adopting a child may exclude up to $12,970 in employer-provided adoption benefits. On your state taxes, there is no longer a credit for adopting a child. Your family will now pay more when going through the adoption process.

Marriage Penalty: As estimated, 650,000 Minnesota families will pay on average $120 more per year in taxes after the Democrats defeated a Republican amendment to fix this problem. Marriage penalties occur when a family filing jointly would enter a higher bracket than if they had filed separately.

We know that higher taxes don’t lead to a healthier economy. Regular session starts again in February and the bottom line is that before we take another dime from hardworking Minnesota families, we should go line-by-line through the budget and cut the wasteful spending. These taxes are increasing costs for hardworking taxpayers while padding the coffers of the state to spend tax dollars on wasteful and ineffective programs. A better way to a strong, healthy Minnesota economy is to promote economic growth, and defund and remove wasteful government.

Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions or comments. I can be reached by telephone at (651) 296-3826 or (855) 407-7386, by e-mail at sen.torrey.westrom@senate.mn, or via mail at 107 State Office Building, 100 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., St. Paul, MN 55155.


Senator Torrey Westrom

District 12
107 State Office Building
St. Paul, MN 55155
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Dayton’s Shell Game Sends Mixed Signals On Middle Class Taxes

Minnesotans beware.

Governor Mark Dayton has been very clear on where he stands with raising taxes on businesses and “the rich” – yes you.

It’s much harder to figure out where Governor Dayton and the Democrats are coming from on the issue of taxes and the middle class.

They held a press conference this week touting new projections that property taxes would actually decrease in 2014. Keep your eye on those projections, by the way – they come from the same agency that predicted e-pull tabs would finance the new Vikings stadium.

So the Governor says low property taxes are a good thing for hard-working Minnesotans. We agree. But he had to raise over $2 billion in new taxes and fees, much of them on the middle class and even poor Minnesotans, to pay for lots of things including his supposed $121 million property tax reduction.

So which is it? Are higher taxes good or bad for the middle class?

Perhaps Minnesota families can use their projected property tax savings, if it ever materializes, to pay for all of the other cost increases they will experience because of the Dayton/DFL 2013 budget:

•Higher energy bills.

•Fewer choices and higher costs for childcare under forced unionization of childcare.

•Higher premiums, higher co-pays, higher prescription drug prices and even fewer hours at work because of the healthcare exchange legislation.

•New tobacco taxes.

•Higher costs to download music and other files from the Internet.

•Higher costs for car rentals.

Each day it becomes more apparent – Republicans stood against wasteful government spending and for an economic recovery that would continue producing middle class jobs, and what Mark Dayton and the Democrats really wanted was bigger government and more spending.

Yes Minnesotans, beware. Despite their spin, the Democrat’s all-tax-increases budget taxes everyone. And raising taxes in one area to supposedly reduce taxes in another is more than a gimmick, it’s a shell game. Make sure you are watching their other hand.

Prepared and paid for by the Republican Party of Minnesota,
Keith Downey, Chair
Not Authorized By Any Candidate Or Candidate’s Committee

The Evidence is Clear: Republican Approach to State Budget Worked for All Minnesotans

State budget surpluses, schools paid back, more people working, consumer confidence on the rise – our first reaction is to thank everyday Minnesotans for hanging in there during the recession and working hard to dig Minnesota out.

Our recovery may be modest by historical standards, and we still suffer from misguided federal economic and monetary policies, but Minnesota is in a stronger position than most states.
It also serves as a reminder that the dire predictions from Democrats about the past two-year Republican budget were wrong.

State budgets don’t unilaterally control our state economy, businesses and workers do, but what more evidence is needed to declare the Republican approach to budgeting in 2011 a complete success?

“If we control state spending and taxes, the economy can improve and so will the health of our budget.”

“Republicans said in 2011 if we control state spending and taxes, the economy can improve and so will the health of our budget,” said Keith Downey, Chair of the Republican Party of Minnesota. “With the books now closed on the 2011 Republican budget, it is clear our approach worked for the hard working taxpayers and families of Minnesota.”

Here are Four Indisputable Truths Regarding the 2011 Budget:

1. The final quarter that just ended $463 million in the black was the result of Republicans holding the line on taxes in 2011. It had nothing to do with the 2013 Dayton/DFL budget passed in May that just started on July 1st. In fact, Governor Dayton has made a very concerted effort to distance himself from the 2011 budget and the Republican approach. Starting with his inaugural address in January 2011:

“To those who sincerely believe the state budget can be balanced with no tax increase – including no forced property tax increase – I say, if you can do so without destroying our schools, hospitals, and public safety, please send me your bill, so I can sign it immediately.”

And how many times have we heard him say “I agreed to it, not with it” when referencing the 2011 budget? The jury is in and Governor Dayton has been proven wrong.

2. The surplus from the 2011 Republican budget has paid back the school shift through current law, not because of anything the DFL did in the 2013 session. Paying back the schools has always been the first priority under law for any budget surplus and it’s no different this time. Without the strong performance of the state’s economy under the 2011 Republican budget, schools would still be owed over $2 billion. The only contribution made by the Democrats in 2013 was to get the Republican windfall to schools a few months early.

3. The DFL budget just passed continues the school shift at over $400 million. After using their supposed opposition to the gimmick of a K-12 shift to win the 2012 legislative elections, Gov. Dayton and Democratic legislators continued the shift in 2013 despite raising taxes over $2.1 billion. Thanks to the surpluses of the previous Republican budget, the vast majority of the shift has now been paid back, yet the DFL need for spending required them to utilize another round of borrowing from the schools! Governor Dayton continues to deny this fact, repeating at his press conference this week that his budget had “no shifts, no gimmicks, no games.”

4. People change behavior when their taxes go up. Look no further than the Minnesota Management and Budget office’s report this week for evidence of this fact:

“But much of the observed increase is believed to be attributable to high income taxpayers choosing to move even more income into 2012 than was projected in February’s forecast.”

This is an ominous fact for the future of Governor Dayton’s 2013 budget which raised taxes over $2.1 billion. The success of his budget relies on these same taxpayers not making any changes to their behavior despite the increase in their tax burden. The threat of higher taxes resulted in significant behavior changes, the reality of higher taxes will do the same.

“The 2011 Republican approach to the state budget turned the state’s finances around and put Minnesotans back to work,” added Downey. “I hope for the sake of our state, the Dayton/Democratic 2013 approach does not ruin this positive momentum.”

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Prepared and paid for by Republican Party of Minnesota, Keith Downey, Chair
Not Authorized By Any Candidate Or Candidate’s Committee