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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Glenn Gruenhagen (R)

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More economic growth thanks to responsible GOP budget

Monday, July 15, 2013

This week, the Minnesota Management and Budget Office announced that yet again tax revenues were higher than expected. The $463 million dollar windfall, by law, will be used to pay back the remaining balance of the Democrat's 2009 school shift. The GOP budget passed in 2011 that limited growth of government and didn't raise a single dollar in taxes has produced remarkable and indisputable results.

Billions of dollars in greater-than-expected revenue helped replenish budget reserve accounts depleted by legislative Democrats before the GOP took the majority in 2011. The extra revenue also helped pay back the 2011 school shift in its entirety, and paid back hundreds of millions of dollars from the school shift passed by Democrats in 2009. Minnesota has created more than 50,000 new jobs, as well as 87,000 new business filings. Unemployment has fallen from above 7% to 5.3%.

The budget passed in 2011 helped put Minnesota on the path to economic success. We've seen steady improvements, and even the Governor himself has acknowledged that the economy has improved under the budget he once decried as draconian and "all cuts."

Unfortunately, Democrats are taking us in a polar opposite direction. Raising spending by more than $3 billion dollars, raising taxes by more than $2 billion dollars on Minnesotans of every income level, rich and poor. I fear that this will have devastating impacts on our economy.

A misguided tax on warehousing services is already costing Minnesota jobs and expansion opportunities, even though it isn't set to kick in until 2014. Democrats continue to keep their heads buried in the sand, ignoring calls for a special session to repeal the tax, even as expansion projects that would mean millions in revenue for communities, and many potential jobs are put on hold. This despite the fact that there is bipartisan support for its repeal.

New taxes on farm equipment repair will impact the agriculture community and our farmers. Republicans warned that Greater Minnesota could take a back seat to Metro-special interest this session thanks to Metro-dominated Democrat leadership, and unfortunately we were right. These new taxes will be a burden on our farming community, and rural Minnesotans everywhere.

Democrats had a recipe for success to turn to when they took control of the legislature: Limit the growth of government, allow citizens to keep more of their hard-earned dollars, and make government more efficient and effective, not more expensive. Unfortunately, they turned a blind eye to these results, and are bringing their destructive progressive policies to Minnesota at the expense of the hardworking taxpayers everywhere.


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