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Legislative News and Views - Rep. John Petersburg (R)

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News from Representative Petersrbug 08-23-2013

Friday, August 23, 2013

Dear Friends,

Last week, legislative leaders and Governor Dayton agreed to the parameters of a disaster-relief-only special session that is scheduled to take place on September 9th. Minnesota has a rich tradition of coming together in a bipartisan fashion to support disaster-relief efforts, and I'm glad lawmakers were able to put politics aside to come to an agreement. Once passed, the 18 counties that were impacted by the storms earlier this summer will receive the much-needed federal and state aid.

Unfortunately, despite much discussion, legislative leaders were unable to agree on terms to repeal any of the business-to-business taxes that were passed last session. Governor Dayton and legislators from both sides have indicated interest in repealing these burdensome taxes that are already adversely affecting Minnesota families.

I'm particularly disappointed that no agreement could be reached on the repeal of the farm equipment repair tax. I've spoken to a number of farmers already who have seen their repair bills skyrocket thanks to this poorly-thought out tax.

Governor Dayton indicated support for its repeal during special session earlier this month at FarmFest, but unfortunately there was an unwillingness on the part of the majority to compromise to repeal some or all of these taxes. The majority had insisted that money be taken from the bottom line—money that will repay our schools later this year—in order to pay for the repeal of these provisions.

Republicans refused to allow money intended for schools to go toward fixing a tax many Democrats acknowledge was a mistake. I hope to see this issue revisited next session, and plan to work with Democrats and Republicans alike next session to try to find a way to fix these mistakes.

Lastly, I wanted to thank everyone who came out to the Steele County Fair earlier this month. It was great to hear from so many of you, and to get your thoughts on the previous session, as well as ideas for the upcoming session. As always, if you have questions, comments, or suggestions, please contact me at rep.john.petersburg@house.mn or by phone at 651-296-5368.

Heading to the State Fair? I will be at the Minnesota House of Representatives Booth located in the Education Building on Cosgrove Street, just north of Dan Patch Avenue from 2PM-4PM on Sunday, August 25th. If you or your family plan are planning to be at the Fair that day, I hope you'll stop by!