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Any family or business would see a 6 percent revenue increase as a real boon. Yet after forcing a special session and vetoing all of our budget bills, the Governor remains adamant on higher taxes to fuel a 15 percent increase in government spending. The Governor and legislative leaders are, depending on the source used, separated by a difference of approximately $1.8 billion. In other words, the Governor is seeking an additional $1.8 billion in spending above the House and Senate budget passed last week and above what Minnesota taxpayers can currently afford.
The Governor is insisting on an income tax increase to fund the 15 percent increase in government spending on what he believes are priority items in his budget, which totals approximately $35.8 billion. Make no mistake. The Governorís tax increase plan is aimed directly at middle class families in communities like ours. The Republican majority is equally firm in insisting government live within its means and that budget expenditures are capped at $34 billion.
Three billion in new revenue should be more than enough. As a fiscal conservative, I believe a 6 percent increase provides state government with the right amount of revenue necessary to fund needed programs and the services our citizens rely upon. While I realize reductions in projected increases may impact some programs, the bottom line is that a $3 billion increase in revenue for our state's bottom line is enough.
If we go down the road of more government growth, we will simply continue the unsustainable spending that has led us to where we are today. And then we'll have to do this same charade next year. And the biennium after that. And after that. And on and on. That's the reality of the tax-and-spend status quo.
This debate is about what Minnesota can afford today, tomorrow and ten years from now. It is about creating a state where businesses grow jobs and thrive, where families have confidence in our economy and community institutions, and where our children wake up every day to a brighter Minnesota. That's what our budget plan does, and I hope the Governor will recognize and act on the needs of our people.
In the days ahead, Iíll keep you updated on where things stand. Stay tuned.
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