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

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Democrats target Minnesota farmers, agriculture to fund Minneapolis, Saint Paul.

Friday, August 2, 2013

Democrats target Minnesota farmers, agriculture to fund Minneapolis, Saint Paul.

With FarmFest and harvest season just around the corner, I thought it would be a good time to look back on some of the anti-farmer, anti-agriculture legislation that was passed this session by the Democrat-controlled legislature.
Republicans warned at the beginning of session that agriculture interests -- which account for 1 in 5 jobs in Minnesota -- may take a back seat to Metro priorities this session. Unfortunately we were right. Democrats, lead by all-Metro leadership this session, passed a number of bills that will directly impact Greater Minnesota for the worse.
Some of the most harmful taxes passed in order to fund a record-setting spending increase include a maintenance and repair sales tax that increases costs for farmers to fix their tractor, combine, or other piece of farm equipment.
The warehousing tax, which Republicans and Democrats alike have expressed support for repealing, may exempt farm products like grains, corn, and soybeans, but does not exclude the inputs that help to produce crops such as fertilizers or fuel for farm equipment.
There's also going to be a new tax on farm property. Despite promises to lower property taxes for seemingly everyone, Democrats have now enabled an unelected Saint Paul bureaucrat to set a property tax rate to be applied to all property in Minnesota. Every farmer in Minnesota will now be forced to pay additional property tax on every acre of land that they own.
These are just a few of the dozen or more laws passed this session by Democrats that will mean more money out of the pockets of our farmers, and inflict harm on the state's agriculture industry. Farmers put food on our tables, produce fuel for our vehicles, and provide jobs for thousands of Minnesotans across the state. We shouldn't be making it more expensive for them to do business.
Next session I will continue to push for the repeal of the warehousing and equipment repair taxes, and urge rural Democrats to stand up to their Minneapolis and Saint Paul leaders that are leading an all-out attack on Minnesota farmers.
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