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Minnesota Legislature

Legislative News and Views - Rep. Melissa Hortman (DFL)

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Friday, April 27, 2007
Assistant Majority Leader Melissa Hortman released the following statement in response to the passage of the House Tax Bill. "This is an excellent bill. I am very impressed with what Representative Marquardt and Representative Lenczewski put together in this bill. "This bill is REVENUE NEUTRAL. This bill is full of tax cuts and tax reform. It will result in a tax cut for every resident in my district. This is exactly what the voters in my district asked me to do. The people in my district have told me that they dislike the property tax more than any other. Over the past five years, property taxes have increased statewide by $2.3 billion. The residents in my community see the property tax as outdated and regressive - it made sense when we lived on farms. How much land you owned usually bore some relationship to your ability to pay. In the modern era, as each year goes by, we see that the property tax is a more and more archaic way of paying taxes. We have seniors who are getting taxed out of their homes. We have young families having a hard time making ends meet as property taxes skyrocket and wages remain flat. "Ask anyone - 9 out of 10 people will say taxes should be based on ability to pay. Right now, Minnesota's middle class is paying way more than their fair share. Minnesota's middle class is paying about 12.4% in their income in state and local taxes while the highest income earners are paying 9.2% of their income in state and local taxes. "This bill accomplishes two purposes - it cuts property taxes and creates more fairness. It cuts property taxes statewide by $442 million. This bill pays for the property tax cut by asking Minnesota's highest income earners to pay closer to the same percentage that middle income families already pay in state and local taxes. "I hope that, in negotiations with the Senate and the Governor, the bill retains property tax cuts and more fairness." -30-