By State Rep. Bud Nornes
Nearly 1,000 area residents responded to a recent legislative survey I conducted and the results paint a clear picture of what is important to folks in District 10A: holding the line on taxes, freedom and choice, and protection of citizenship rights.
Here’s a summary:
Taxes and state budget: A whopping 95 percent of respondents say they do not support a constitutional amendment that dedicates a portion of the sales tax to conservation, arts and culture. In addition, 68 percent of respondents say they prefer to cut spending instead of raising taxes to balance the state budget. That’s especially relevant as we face a projected $1 billion deficit in the current two-year cycle adopted just last year.
As for property taxes, 73 percent of the people in 10A support using the price established during the sale of a property to determine a basis for tax valuation. Property sold for less than the estimated tax value should require a recalculation of the property tax.
Meantime, 62 percent feel the state should allow school districts to conduct levies in order to maintain and repair school facilities in emergency situations.
Health care: Two-thirds of you like the idea of selecting insurance needs cafeteria-style by allowing for-profit companies to conduct business in Minnesota. We’ve proposed a plan that provides freedom and choice, privacy and security, and no government takeover.
Transportation: Passage of the Transportation Bill received many headlines recently and the survey shows citizens of 10A and I agree: Sources other than increases to the gas tax or license tab fees were preferred to fund our transportation system. Only 31 percent said raising the gas tax is a good idea and a slim 13 percent wanted an increase in tab fees. Unfortunately, at a time when many Minnesotans are already under financial stress, some members of the Legislature ignored popular opinion and enacted a monumental tax hike.
That’s not to say roads and bridges should be under-funded, as 58 percent of respondents make it their No. 1 priority for infrastructure support. Finishing in second place is higher education buildings and classrooms (28 percent), followed by environmental protection (19 percent).
Residency requirements: The most one-sided response on the survey (96 percent) supports measures to create residency and stricter work requirements for anyone seeking Minnesota welfare benefits. Meantime, 79 percent feel Minnesotans should be required to provide photo ID when voting.
The input provided to me through this annual survey is invaluable as I continue to serve as your state Rep. Please continue to let me know how I can help.
Nornes represents District 10A in the Minnesota House of Representatives, and can be reached at (800) 336-8017 or by e-mail at email@example.com.