The Minnesota Capitol: Painted with sunlight.
Tax relief for Minnesotans should remain the top priority this session because people are hurting with the rising prices of the Biden economy. The good news is the state’s latest economic report shows the opportunity for tax relief this session is only increasing.
Minnesota Management & Budget issued its February economic forecast earlier this week and it projects a $9.3 billion biennial surplus. That figure is up $1.5 billion from the already historic $7.7 billion surplus projected in November. The state already is fully funded for the biennium, meaning significant tax relief should be in store this year.
Families and businesses already have been dealt so many tough hands over the past couple of years, especially with the unnecessary, excessive restrictions the governor placed upon them during the months he was abusing his emergency powers. The state has collected more tax revenue than it needs and it’s time to give these dollars back to their rightful owners – the taxpayers of Minnesota. This includes ending the state tax on Social Security and replenishing the unemployment insurance trust fund to stop the tax increase businesses face this month.
Deadline looming to stop tax increase
This unemployment insurance tax increase is a major issue that isn’t going to go away until House Democrats stop delaying. In fact, things are only going to become more serious as we get closer to the March 15 deadline to enact into law a bill that fixes this problem. The Senate already addressed this issue a couple of weeks ago by overwhelmingly passing a UI bill on a bipartisan vote.
Gov. Walz, House Republicans, Senate Republicans, and Senate Democrats all support full UI relief. But House Democrats unfortunately continue to play politics, using this issue as political leverage against other, unrelated issues. This is causing unnecessary uncertainty for our businesses that have faced more than their fair share of challenges the last couple of years.
A recent newspaper article indicates inaction by House Democrats could cost businesses tens of thousands of dollars in tax increases this year. This ultimately would only drive up prices on goods and services even higher at a time we already are seeing costs soaring at 40-year highs in the Biden-Walz economy.
To recap: The state has far more money than it needs with fully stocked reserve accounts and nearly $10 billion in surplus taxpayer revenue. The Senate already passed a bipartisan bill that solves this UI issue. House Democrats need to stop playing partisan games so we can get this done.
Safety in our Cities
Public safety is another top issue this session in response to historic levels of violent crime in our state. House Republicans held a news conference this week to unveil our 2022 public safety priorities. The Safety in our Cities package focuses on three key areas: crime prevention and accountability for criminals; police recruitment and retention; and holding the criminal justice system accountable.
Minnesotans demand and expect the Legislature to improve public safety in our state. Gov. Walz and liberal policies of being light on crime have failed our cities and I look forward to continuing our efforts to deliver positive results.