Update from Rep McNamara: Mark Dayton’s State of the State Address

Representative Denny McNamara

Representative Denny McNamara

By Rep. Denny McNamara, 2/7/2013

Hello from St. Paul,

On February 6, Governor Mark Dayton gave his annual State of the State Address on the floor of the Minnesota House of Representatives. I was pleased to have Pat Regan, who operates the Hastings Bus Company, and his family as my invited guests for this event.

Many times, a governor will use this speech to outline his vision for Minnesota’s future, but in this case, he used it to defend and promote his budget proposal which he had released two weeks ago.

The Governor’s plan would increase taxes on all Minnesotans by $3.7 billion this biennium alone, and increase state spending by $2.5 billion over the next two years. Many of the tax increases center on an expansion of the state’s sales tax, in other words, adding it onto dozens of goods and services that currently aren’t taxed under state law. The governor’s sales tax plan would generate roughly $2 billion of his projected $3.7 million increase, and would fall on items like haircuts, over the counter medications, car repairs, certain items of clothing, and internet purchases.

I’ve heard from a number of constituents who are troubled by how these tax increases will impact hardworking Minnesotans, especially those of us who live in border communities. The governor has also included a business to business tax in his budget plan, a maneuver that will ultimately cause many businesses to leave our state, and force surviving businesses to raise prices on customers.

It was also interesting to learn that the governor’s nearly $38 billion budget was originally presented as containing $16 in new spending on state government programs for every $1 it reduced. But after taking a closer look at the plan in committee, it was found that some of the budget reductions are simply paper shuffling. The actual total is now $22 in new spending for every $1 in budget reductions, which I think most everyone can agree is not a balanced approach.

I’m personally ready to have an honest discussion on how to close the projected $1.1 billion budget deficit, but I’m concerned that raising taxes alone – combined with a permanent $2.5 billion spending increase – will do more harm than good in the long run.

As session moves forward, I will continue to keep you updated on the House budget proposal as it moves through committees.

Keep in touch,

Representative Denny McNamara
359 State Office Building
100 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
Saint Paul, Minnesota 55155

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