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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Peggy Scott (R)

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Legislative Update (August 22, 2013)

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Dear neighbor, 


Yesterday Governor Dayton announced that he will call a special session of the legislature on September 9 for disaster relief for those affected by the June storms. I’m glad we’re coming together to provide disaster relief. We have a rich tradition in Minnesota of supporting our communities and nothing should stand in the way of Minnesotans receiving the support they need.


Initially, the governor said the only item on the agenda for the special session was to provide disaster relief for victims of the June storm. However, when the governor arrived at Farm Fest a couple weeks ago he told farmers in attendance that he supports adding the repeal of the farm equipment repair tax to the agenda for special session as well.


The farm equipment repair tax is just one of a myriad of bad tax increases imposed by Democrat legislators this session. I’ve heard from numerous small business owners asking that we repeal the three business-to-business taxes put into place by Governor Dayton and the Democrat-controlled legislature. These taxes would affect labor costs for repair and maintenance of equipment, the purchase of telecommunications equipment, and a warehousing and storage tax to take effect in April 2014.


While I applaud Governor Dayton for now recognizing this tax is bad for Minnesota, it’s curious to me that he claimed he and his staff were unaware the farm equipment tax was in the tax bill. Anyone who was paying attention during the debate on the House floor knew that provision was in the tax bill. This exchange on the House floor made that quite clear.


It’s not just Republicans calling for the repeal of many of these taxes. Former House Speaker Margaret Anderson Kelliher, a prominent Minnesota Democrat, has called for repeal of the sales on telecommunications equipment. Governor Dayton stated himself that he supports repealing the warehousing tax. However, he wants to wait until the next regular legislative session convenes in late February of 2014 to address it. Unfortunately, our small businesses and the hard-working people they employ can’t wait that long. Small businesses in our state from Red Wing to Minneapolis to Dayton have said this tax has put their economic activity on hold and openly talk about moving to another state.


Despite the broad bipartisan support to repeal these harmful tax mistakes, Governor Dayton and Democrat leaders refused to compromise to get the job done now. Republican leaders offered three opportunities for Democrats to fix their mistakes from last session and Democrats said no. We advocated for full repeal of the equipment repair tax, telecommunications tax and the warehousing tax – I had a bill drafted ready to put forward for special session – but Democrats could not even commit to repeal one. Democrats wouldn't compromise and stood in the way of doing what’s right for hardworking taxpayers.


Small businesses are already leaving the state. Before we lose one more job due to policies passed by this legislature, we should act now and stem the bleeding. This session of historic tax increases has already been too costly for our families and small businesses. I believe we must hold a special session dedicated to fix the Democrat-caused disasters that are driving families and businesses out our state.


I am always interested in your feedback. Please feel free to contact me by e-mail at Rep.Peggy.Scott@House.MN or contact my office at 651-296-4231. You can also send me mail to my office address: 201 State Office Building, 100 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., St. Paul, MN 55155.