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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Bud Nornes (R)

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Budget-balancing project remains

Wednesday, April 21, 2010
Neighbor- We are in the home stretch of the current legislative session and the biggest remaining project is to balance our state budget which still is at a deficit. We have a shortfall of around $700 million to fix, but the majority has put the brakes on this project as we await word on federal money (approximately $400 million) we anticipate receiving. Here are a couple other items of interest: WALK FOR GLENDALOUGH The Walk for Glendalough to raise money for Glendalough State Park in Battle Lake is 9 a.m. Saturday. Money from the walk is used to enhance the park and over the years this event has funded many important improvements. I plan to participate in the walk and will continue to receive donations. You may call me at (218) 736-7777 to make a pledge. Donations of all sizes are welcome … $50 or more earns you a T-shirt. For more information about Saturday’s walk, or to request a pledge brochure, call the park office at 218-864-0110. The Glendalough web site is www.mnstateparks.info TAX FREEDOM DAY It’s hard to believe government has grown to the point where Minnesotans spent the first 103 days of this year working to pay our taxes. But that’s the reality. It took us until April 13 to reach “Tax Freedom Day” in our state this year. That means we finally have earned enough money to pay this year’s combined federal, state and local taxes. Tax Freedom Day is determined by dividing total tax payments by income as projected for the year by the non-partisan Tax Foundation. The date our earnings surpass taxes owed for the year is known as Tax Freedom Day. Sadly, the Tax Foundation reports Americans will pay more taxes this year than they will spend on food, clothing and shelter combined. Only eight states take longer than Minnesota to reach Tax Freedom Day. All of our state’s neighbors – South Dakota (88 days), North Dakota (93 days), Iowa (94 days), and Wisconsin (102 days) – reached Tax Freedom Day before us. See www.taxfoundation.org/taxfreedomday for more. Tax Freedom Day does not account for the federal deficit, however, even though the deficit must eventually be financed. If Americans were required to pay for all government spending this year, including the $1.3 trillion federal budget deficit, we would be working an additional 38 days. Excessive and irresponsible state and federal spending could push out Tax Freedom Day even further in years to come. We should do all we can to promote private sector job growth instead of turning to more and more government spending and tax hikes we can’t afford. Sincerely, Bud
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