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State Representative Carlos Mariani

203 State Office BuildingState Office Building
100 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
651-296-9714

For more information contact: Joan Nichols 651-29X-XXXX

Posted: 2007-06-12 00:00:00
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NEWS COLUMN

The Governor's Tax Veto Will Cost Minnesotans


State Rep. Carlos Mariani

Minnesota House of Representatives Contact: Joan Nichols
District 65B (651) 296-9714 (651) 296-8891
563 State Office Building, St. Paul, MN 55155 Joan.Nichols@house.mn

The tax veto is going to hurt metro Minnesota homeowners. Governor Pawlenty vetoed property tax relief a second time. First, we passed direct property tax relief for homeowners and he vetoed it. Then, we sent relief to communities to hold down property taxes and he vetoed that.

In this legislative session the DFL-led House and Senate passed balanced, fiscally responsible initiatives focused on delivering the basics to move Minnesota forward. I listened to the voices of our communities and responded with legislation on property tax relief, health care, education and transportation - basic issues for a better Minnesota. Unfortunately the Governor – backed by his GOP colleagues in the legislature - chose not to hear the people of Minnesota.

His recent veto against the tax bill shows a genuine indifference and lack of leadership in delivering fair and responsive laws. His chosen tool of governance in 2007 will do more harm than good to a number of communities and constituents throughout the state. In St. Paul the veto struck out over $9 million dollars in tax relief – money local property owners will need to make up without the state’s help in order to provide basic needs like police services.

When the new DFL majority promised bipartisan work, we meant it. I am disappointed by the end runs and vetoes that harmed good initiatives such as the statewide plan for serious property tax relief, the transportation bill for our roads and transit, and, closer to home, funding to protect and support the interests of communities in Ramsey County. I worked hard to provide a fiscally responsible property tax reform plan that is fair to every St. Paul property owner in Minnesota. The governor seems intent on once again raising metro Minnesotan's property taxes.

Although the Governor's refused to engage in budget negotiations in a bipartisan manner, important advances were made. We passed a nation-leading renewable energy standard, requiring that one-fifth of Minnesota's electricity come from renewable resource by 2020. We delivered sustainable increases in K-12 schools, special education funding and supported cutting rising tuition in our state colleges and universities. Early childhood education/Preschool was one of this year's highest funding priorities in education. As Chair of E-12 Education, I served to help St. Paul schools benefit from stabilized education resources, including early childhood funding for All-Day Kindergarten, Head Start, School Readiness, and ECFE. We returned these programs to funding levels before the devastating 2003 cuts.

We must continue important initiatives in education, health care, property tax relief, and transportation. While it’s impossible to undo the previous eight years of cuts and neglect to our communities in just one year, we did make some important steps toward securing Minnesota’s future. I intend to keep working on these important issues and others as I continue to engage the constituents of my district and state. I want to thank you for the opportunity to represent the interests of our community at the Capitol.

During this Legislative Session we were fully engaged in making Minnesota's priorities a reality in our communities. But every time the Governor picked up his veto pen he missed an opportunity to engage in the real issues of the day in Minnesota and make a difference to our communities. I encourage each of you to take the opportunity to contact the Governor and request him to call a special session to deal with the issue of exorbitant property tax increases. Pick up your phone, a pen or turn on your computer and make your voice heard today.

Office of the Governor
130 State Capitol
75 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
St. Paul, MN 55155
Telephone: (651) 296-3391
Toll Free: (800) 657-3717
Facsimile: (651) 296-2089
E-mail: tim.pawlenty@state.mn.us

Sincerely,

Carlos Mariani
State Representative, 65B

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