The Hertaus family sends wishes for a merry Christmas, happy Chanuka, holidays & best wishes for the New Year.
The turning of the calendar also finds us near the start of the 2019 legislative session, set to begin Jan. 8 in St. Paul. The Legislature is now split among majorities, with Republicans leading the Senate and Democrats controlling the House while also retaining the governor’s office. Work is taking place behind the scenes in the House to prepare for the new session. Office spaces are being shuffled and a new committee structure of 32 panels is in place.
While committee rosters are not yet finalized, I have accepted an appointment to serve as the minority lead on the House’s Property and Local Tax Division. This is a natural fit since I have served as vice chairman of the House’s Property Tax and Local Government Finance Division this biennium.
I am pleased and honored to be serving as the lead minority member on this important committee. As a resident of the west metro, I can bring the perspective of a region where studies indicate local residents pay a larger percentage of their incomes on property taxes than most other parts of the state. While local entities such as schools, cities and counties account for much of this, the state’s additional taxes on commercial and industrial properties, and seasonal recreational units, also are part of the equation and should be addressed.
The state’s large number of unfunded mandates also constrict local units of governments and prove costly for taxpayers. I look forward to discussing ideas for bipartisan reforms to make improvements in those areas and welcome suggestions from citizens as we prepare for the 2019 session.
Look for more legislative news to come as the House convenes at the Capitol. Until then, enjoy the holidays and please be safe out on the roads.