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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Chris Swedzinski (R)

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Legislative Update from Rep. Chris Swedzinski

Friday, January 25, 2013


Governor Dayton proposed his two year budget plan on Tuesday for 2014-2015 and it includes numerous changes to Minnesota’s tax code that I believe will harm the middle class. After announcing his plans to the Minnesota press, I attended a meeting with Governor Dayton to discuss the proposal and ask him about his thoughts on new taxes and higher spending. I look forward to finding common ground with the Governor to create a budget solution that helps Minnesota families thrive and protects small business and agriculture. In addition, I met this week with DFL Rep. Gene Pelowski (Chair, Higher Education Committee) to discuss important institutions in our area as his committee puts together its budget.

Dayton is asking for a new income tax bracket on individuals with incomes above $150,000 a year or $250,000 per couple, raising the rate to 9.85%. Despite all the talk of taxing "millionaires and billionaires," Dayton’s new income tax is 25% higher than the current rate and will impact thousands of Minnesota families and small businesses that file individually.

Some other pieces of the budget plan include:

  • Increased spending:
    • We would go from $35.2 billion in spending for FY12-13 to $37.9 billion in FY14-15
    • $3.7 billion in new taxes and $225 million in reductions
  • A new sales tax on:
    • Aspirin, cold medicine, and any other over-the-counter drugs
    • Auto repairs
    • Hair cuts
    • Newspaper and magazine subscriptions
    • Legal and accounting services
    • Warehousing and store services
    • Sanitation services
    • Bank charges
    • Veterinary services
    • Clothing valued over $100 (like a winter coat)
    • Business to business sales
    • Digital downloads like iTunes, Apps
    • Amazon online purchases or others like Amazon

Average incomes for families in Southwest Minnesota are not growing at nearly 8% every two years like state government would under the Dayton plan. In some estimates, Dayton’s growth of government would be twice as fast as the growth of Minnesota’s entire economy itself. I believe the cumulative impact of the governor's tax increases will drive our job creators to relocate in neighboring states, like Wisconsin and the Dakotas, which have more competitive business climates.

While I disagree with the approach the Governor is taking to balance the budget, I look forward to a thoughtful and productive discussion about how we can protect the middle class from further tax increases and provide good services to the people of our state.

Meeting with Constituents

I met with several groups this week at the Capitol, including members of Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life (MCCL) and American Bikers for Awareness, Training and Education (ABATE). If you are planning on visiting or would like to set up time to meet with me about an issue of importance to you, please contact me using the information below.

I thank you for the opportunity to serve you in the Minnesota House of Representatives. Please feel free to contact me with any thoughts or concerns you may have. I can be reached at 651-296-5374 or by e-mail at