Dear Friends and Neighbors,
Last week I had the opportunity to welcome another high school page from our area to the Capitol as Rachel Zhang participated in the program. It was great to meet Rachel and I’m glad she had the opportunity to experience the legislature up close.
As another week at the Capitol begins, here’s an update with some news on the governor’s budget proposal and what it means for Minnesotans.
Governor’s Budget Proposal
Last Tuesday, Governor Walz unveiled his state budget proposal for the next two years. I am deeply concerned by the massive tax hikes that are a major component of this budget. These tax increases total more than $3 billion over the next two years, would make life more expensive for families and businesses, and take more money out of the pockets of every Minnesotan.
You’ve probably heard about the 20 cent per gallon gas tax increase the governor is proposing, which would make Minnesota the state with the 4th highest gas tax in the country. Our community already faces a high tax burden, and this proposal would make every trip to the gas station more expensive. A gas tax hike would disproportionately hurt families, farmers, and contractors in rural parts of the state who already face longer drives on a daily basis. In addition, drivers in rural Minnesota don’t have the option of public transit that is available in the metro, yet are unfairly stuck paying taxes to help fund these transit systems in Minneapolis and St. Paul.
If the gas tax increase wasn’t enough, the governor’s budget would also renew the sick tax, which is a tax on nearly all healthcare services in the state. The sick tax is set to expire and would increase the cost of healthcare by nearly $1 billion over the next two years. At a time when healthcare costs are already too high for many families, we shouldn’t be considering restoring this harmful tax, which would hurt Minnesotans with already mounting medical bills. Simply stated, raising healthcare taxes is the wrong approach to making healthcare more affordable.
The governor’s budget proposal would also increase license tab fees and increase property taxes for small businesses around the state. At a time when our state enjoys a healthy budget surplus, there is no reason to consider raising taxes by so much. Needless to say, we can’t afford the higher taxes the governor is calling for.
Please Contact Me
Please continue to stay in touch to share your thoughts on the issues and legislation that will be coming before me in the weeks and months ahead. You can reach me via phone at (651) 296-4378 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Have a great weekend.