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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Steve Green (R)

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Legislative Update (1-30-15)

Friday, January 30, 2015

Dear Neighbor,

A reminder that I will be hosting a property tax listening session tomorrow, Saturday, January 31st, at the Northwoods Bank in Park Rapids. The event will take place from 5:00-6:30. Joining me at this listening session will be Chairman of the House Property Tax& Local Government Finance Division, Rep. Steve Drazkowski, and House District 2A State Representative, Rep. Dave Hancock.

I encourage you to attend this event to let your elected officials know how property taxes have affected you, your business, or your farm over the last several years.

On Tuesday, the Governor released his budget proposal for the coming biennium. In total, the Governor’s budget includes a $6.839 billion dollar increase in all-funds spending over the current biennium and more than $903 million dollars in increased taxes for all Minnesotans. The Governor has proven, once again, that he is determined to continue growing the size of government at the expense of Minnesota’s hard working taxpayers.

Included in the Governor’s budget proposal is a transportation plan based on nearly $9 billion dollars in new taxes, tax increases, and fee increases over the course of the next decade. Included in these tax and fee increases is a 6.5% increase in the state’s gas tax and larger license tab fees. Now is not the time to increase the burden on Minnesota families at the pump, especially given that we are finally starting to see some relief at the pump with lower gas prices.

$2.8 billion dollars of the governor’s transportation package would be spent on light rail in the Twin Cities and another several million on bike trails and pedestrian walkways. Minnesotans, especially those of us in rural Minnesota, want to see our tax dollars used to improve real roads and bridges, not trains and bikeways in the Twin Cities. I believe that we can put real dollars into our state’s roads and bridges without increasing the burden on Minnesotans. Over the next several weeks, our committees will work to assess the funding need and develop solutions that address our state’s transportation system.

Also noticeably absent from the Governor’s proposal is any new funding to address the problems our nursing homes are facing. Our seniors deserve to be a priority.

I introduced two bills this past Thursday. House File 463 modifies eligibility for Legacy funds appropriations by not allowing recipients of Legacy funds to continue receiving these funds if the Legislative Auditor deems that the recipient has not complied with the laws, rules, or regulations that they are required to adhere to. These recipients should be required to follow the rules, regulations, and laws set forth by the legislature if they want to continue to receive tax payer funded Legacy funds. This bill would make sure that they are in compliance.

My other bill, House File 462, limits the amount of money a public agency, like the DNR, can pay to acquire privately owned land. This bill would not allow public agencies to pay more than the county-assessed value for private land.

As always, do not hesitate to contact me if you ever have a question or comment about a piece of legislation or a state agency. I can be reached by phone at 651-296-9918 or via email at rep.steve.green@house.mn.

Have a great weekend,

Steve

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