I hope your summer is going well. Here is information from a few reports I think you will find interesting.
First, Minnesota Management & Budget has issued a report indicating the state budget Democrats passed this year includes the largest dollar-for-dollar All Funds biennial spending increase in state history. MMB shows total spending will increase by more than $6 billion to a historic high of $67 billion (a 10-percent increase).
This is highly disappointing to those of us who advocate for putting state spending on a sustainable course. We had recently received word the state collected $400 million more than anticipated in the last fiscal year and the entire school shift enacted in 2011 has been repaid. Our economy was showing continual improvement, but only time will tell what impacts this record spending and $2.5 billion in increases to taxes and fees will bring.
Another recent report shows the budget enacted by Democrats will increase statewide property taxes by $13 million. It also shows taxes on agricultural properties will increase by 6.5 percent. Democrats have been traveling the state touting the $400 million they said was going toward property tax relief, but this non-partisan report paints a different picture.
Lastly, I am one of 21 House members to earn 2013 Hero status from Minnesota Majority. The group tracked 11 House issues pertaining to traditional values, including taxes, government scope and individual freedoms. I scored 100 percent and you can click here for more.
On another note, the Capitol Preservation Commission on which I serve has approved a plan that will launch a much-needed restoration process on the building. It is good to see this project get underway after our Capitol was neglected or patched with short-term fixes for far too long. The Minnesota State Capitol Restoration website has more information.
Take care and look for me if you visit the upcoming county fairs in Meeker, McLeod and Wright.