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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Jerry Hertaus (R)

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News from Representative Hertaus 08-14-2013

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Governor Dayton calling for a Special Session Sept. 9

I am pleased to report some good news out of Saint Paul this week. After a session marked by the largest spending increase in state history—$6.12 billion dollars of new spending equating to a 9.99% increase in all government, the majority has finally relented and admitted it's time to repeal some of these misguided tax increases.

Last week Governor Dayton publicly claimed to be unaware of and expressed support at Farm Fest for the repeal of the farm equipment repair tax which began on July 1st. Voters should be expecting that there would be strong bipartisan support for the repeal of this tax. I will look forward to supporting a repeal of this tax, when and if a special session occurs, tentatively scheduled for September 9th.

I hope the majority will also consider examining the possibility of repealing other misguided and unnecessary tax increases. The DFL chair of the tax committee acknowledged during debate of the Omnibus tax bill on the floor of the House last May, that the warehousing tax might also likely be repealed. Members on both sides of the aisle have since called it a mistake, and have indicated it should be repealed.

Earlier this summer, Republicans held a press conference to urge the Governor to call a special session to repeal it, as it is already impacting Minnesota by a loss of jobs and businesses relocating out of the state despite not being implemented yet. In order for business to grow and expand here in Minnesota, we need a stable and competitive tax environment with economic certainty and predictability. Decisions to expand, hire new workers, or build new facilities are made now , and without the certainty that the tax will be repealed before it begins in April, this tax looms large as a discouraging factor.

Minnesota now ranks 48th least competitive place in the nation to start or expand a business. We cannot any longer ignore the reality of a much more competitive business environment just across state lines here in the Midwest. Our recent new and expanded tax increases this last session is anti-competitive and burdens our job creators, producers and businesses to the detriment of their employees. Displacement of this revenue towards increased tax burdens too often results in less capital available for businesses to be expended on jobs, increased salaries or benefits to employees. 

This special session is the perfect time to address these issues for the sake of ensuring our fragile economic recovery is not damaged. We must repeal the machinery repair tax -- in its entirety, not simply for farmers. The repair tax impacts logging, mining, restaurants; quite simply, it impacts jobs in every corner of Minnesota in nearly every industry. If it is a burden to farmers, it's a burden to other businesses too, including manufacturers, loggers, mining operations, and restaurants as well.

I'm hopeful that there will be a strong spirit of cooperation and agreement when we arrive in Saint Paul for special session. Repealing these taxes is good for Minnesota, and simply the right thing to do.

Representative Jerry Hertaus


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