The Legislature has a deadline of midnight Sunday to pass legislation providing Minnesotans with permanent, meaningful tax relief at a time the state has a historic surplus.
In other words, we have until midnight Sunday for House Democrats to have a change of heart and get on board with House Republicans who want to see more tax relief and remain opposed to the massive spending increases that Democrats are demanding.
All this is happening with the backdrop of Minnesotans struggling with price increases, soaring costs of gas and rising energy bills in today’s Biden/Walz economy.
Our state government already is fully funded for the biennium so there is no need to put another dime toward government programs. We are presented with an opportunity to provide tax relief unlike this state has ever seen. For example, we should settle for nothing less than a full repeal of the state’s tax on Social Security to end Minnesota’s status as one of just a dozen states that still taxes this income.
We also should remember the state received more than $80 billion in funding from the federal government in COVID relief funding. But House Democrats continue to needlessly push for billions in new permanent spending as a condition for tax cuts. In fact, Democrats want a 15-percent increase in state pending compared to the previous budget. For perspective, that's even more than Democrats spent when they had complete control of state government.
We have more than $7 billion in remaining budget surplus, money which should be going back to taxpayers who have been over-charged. We can make it happen, but House Democrats must quit holding tax relief hostage for billions in spending. Whether that happens in the last 36 hours of this legislative session remains to be seen.
At the deadline, if our choices come down to spending billions more on government programs or standing pat until next year when the deck is shuffled in St. Paul, “standing pat” might be our best option so we can go all in on doing the right thing next year.