Greetings from the Capitol!
Here are a few items I wanted to pass along now before attentions are turned to our newest economic forecast when it’s issued on Thursday.
GOV’S TAX INCREASES IN COMMITTEE
Gov. Mark Dayton’s proposed tax increases – including the new 5.5-percent business-to-business sales taxes – will get a hearing tomorrow (Wednesday) night. I encourage local citizens, especially business owners, to attend the meeting and provide the committee with input.
The hearing will be 7 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 27, in Room 10 of the State Office Building (across MLK Jr. Blvd. from the Capitol’s west side). Citizens who wish to provide testimony may sign up in person when they arrive at the meeting, or ahead of time by emailing email@example.com.
GREAT LOCAL INPUT
Many citizens provided input regarding the governor’s tax increases and other issues last week at our small-business roundtable in Vadnais Heights and town hall meeting in Hugo. Thank you to all who participated.
A common concern in the business community – regardless of size – is how the governor’s current tax proposals would make it more difficult to be successful in Minnesota. One rhetorical question from an attendee was, “How many of us can even stay in business with these new taxes?" Another striking comment came from a manufacturer who is regretting his decision to stay in Minnesota instead of relocating to Wisconsin.
It is clear that all Minnesotans will feel the pain of the governor’s expanded sales tax and the tax on small business, not just the so-called “rich.”
AREA CITIZENS VISIT
A number of local residents have visited my legislative office to discuss a wide variety of issues this session. Among the recent visitors were Dale and Vernita Kennen, Eileen Couture and Amanda Lindberg, who met with me on behalf of the interfaith Joint Religious Legislative Coalition.
As I indicated earlier, we will receive an updated economic forecast Thursday. That will be a key component in shaping new biennial budget. Three consecutive reports have shown more revenue than previously projected, totaling $2.5 billion in surplus revenue since November of 2011. I will keep you posted.