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SAINT PAUL – State Representative Bob Gunther (R-Fairmont) said he had an easy time casting a no vote for the recent $748 million tax increase bill proposed by Minnesota House Democrats.
“The bill provides no immediate property tax relief,” Gunther said. “It raises the income tax and taxes on business, and it even includes a property tax increase for some counties. You can’t shift money from one packet to another and call it tax relief.”
Gunther also noted that budget spending could increase by 9.8% without needing to raise taxes. “That should be enough of an increase,” Gunther said. “It’s a higher percentage raise than most of my constituents receive from their employers each year.”
Gunther said House Republicans offered alternatives to the massive Democrat tax increase, which would have provided immediate property tax relief and long term reform without raising a single tax. He also noted that the bill is bad for businesses. The new income tax tier could affect nearly 60 percent of small businesses in Minnesota. It also penalizes businesses for being successful enough to start doing business out side of the state border.
“We should not penalize the employers who create jobs,” Gunther said. “This bill sends the message to our business owners that we don’t care if they relocate to Iowa due to a more friendly tax climate. At some point, this tax-everything mentality being pushed by the Democrats has to stop.”
Gunther said Governor Pawlenty has vowed to veto any tax increase.
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