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News from Representative Gruenhagen 08-13-2013

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Dear Friends,

I wanted to update you on some interesting news out of Saint Paul.

Last week at FarmFest, Governor Dayton unexpectedly informed farmers, agriculture workers, and reporters in attendance that he supported the repeal of the farm equipment repair tax in the upcoming special session, tentatively scheduled for September 9th. The special session was scheduled in order to pass much-needed flood relief from the storms that impacted parts of Minnesota earlier this year.
 
This was a dramatic departure from 24 hours prior when he insisted to WCCO that the special session be limited to passing flood relief -- and nothing else.
 
I'm pleased that the Governor and legislative Democrats have finally come around to acknowledging that taxes have consequences for jobs and working families in Minnesota. It's no coincidence that the Governor changed his position on the repeal of the farm equipment repair tax when he escaped the confines of St. Paul and spoke to real farmers -- those who pay the taxes that fund the spending spree Democrats imposed this session.
 
What's most concerning is that the Governor claims that he and his staff were "unaware" that the farm equipment repair tax was in the tax bill. In true Nancy Pelosi style, it seems Governor Dayton signed the bill to see what was in it. Republicans confirmed on the House floor that the tax was included, so there really wasn't any question for those paying attention. And even if he didn't see that exchange, is it too much to ask that the Governor actually read the bills before he signs them? Perhaps that is too much to ask of our state's chief executive.
 
Both Democrats and Republicans are now supportive of providing an exemption for farm equipment, but my fellow Republicans and I believe we shouldn't stop there: I believe the entire tax must go. The machinery repair tax impacts mining equipment, logging equipment, restaurant equipment, truck scales -- nearly every business in the state of Minnesota could be impacted. That's not good for jobs, and not good for our fragile economic recovery. Same goes for the warehousing tax -- it's a tax that means higher costs for nearly everything that passes through a warehouse.
 
We consider this the Democrats' do-over special session. Democrats seem to have finally realized the mistakes that they've made, and Republicans stand ready to help fix their mistakes. I look forward to coming together in a bipartisan manner to repeal their burdensome taxes and clean up the mess they made.
 
If you support repealing these harmful taxes, I hope you'll share your thoughts with the Governor and urge him to work with the leaders of the House and Senate and get it done. You can reach the Governor's office by calling 651-201-3400 or toll free: 800-657-3717. You can send an email via the submission form on his website which you can find by clicking here.
 
Have a great rest of your week. Enjoy the beautiful weather.
 
Glenn
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