Greetings from St. Paul,
Improving Local Government Aid
Last week I had a bill heard in the Property Tax Committee dealing with the Local Government Aid (LGA) funding formula. During the hearing, it was suggested that the State rethink how we collect taxes. My closing comments included: "The cornerstone of a free and prosperous people, is property ownership. We currently do not own our property, our home. We may not owe the bank anything, but try not paying proper homage to the State for three consecutive years and see how long your 'ownership' continues. The State takes a piece of everything I earn. The State gets a taste of everything I spend. The State taxes all of my utilities. So yes, I think it is long past time that we rethink how we tax the people of Minnesota."
This week in the Job Growth Energy Affordability Finance and Policy Committee, we heard a bill related to a tip credit; adjusting the minimum wage for tipped employees. During the hearing, one of the testifiers said "tips are gifts.” If tips are gifts, why are they taxed? If they are taxed then they need to be considered wages. This is an either or - not both. Gift or wage. This again pointed to the State getting a piece of every monetary transaction in the State, down to and including a gift I may or may not leave for a waiter or waitress.
Later that evening I and a few of my colleagues went to dinner together. At the end I left a note on the tip line of the bill; "taxation is theft", and a cash gift for the waitress. She mentioned that she liked my comment and she had never seen that before. Are tips a gift or wages? You decide next time you are out to dinner.
Governor’s Tax Increases
The Governor's tax plan was scored by the Department of Revenue. The analysis found that under the Governor's plan, Minnesotans in every income bracket would receive a tax INCREASE, and those earning under $32,000 would be hit the hardest. The result would be a tax increase of $1.5 BILLION dollars from all Minnesotans. The House tax conformity bill has not been rolled out yet, but our hope is to have a bill in the coming days that holds Minnesotans harmless. The latest budget forecast shows Minnesotans are being overtaxed by $329 million.
It's your money! You earned it, you should keep it!
Once again, thank you for the honor of being your voice in Saint Paul,