By Rep. Tony Jurgens, 2/2/2017
Hello from the State Capitol,
Governor Dayton recently outlined his budget recommendations to the legislature, and I believe the plan is too heavy on spending and tax increases, and too light on tax relief for hardworking Minnesotans.
I’m sure his target is simply a starting point, but when you want to increase government spending by nearly ten percent and raise taxes and fees in the face of a $1.4 billion surplus, that approach is going to be met with resistance.
Governor Dayton is proposing a $45.8 billion budget over the next two-year budget cycle, which represents a roughly a ten percent increase over the $41.5 billion Fiscal Year 2016-17 budget.
Despite Minnesota’s $1.4 billion surplus, the governor is also proposing a $1.4 billion tax increase on trips to the doctor by extending the provider tax, and $1.5 billion in new taxes and fees in the next biennium alone by increasing the gas tax, tab fees, the Metro area sales tax, new license/title surcharges, and more.
The people I’ve spoken with are expecting lawmakers to rein in our spending a bit and get the money back through some meaningful tax reform to middle class taxpayers. I expect our budget to come in significantly less than what the governor proposed, but hopefully he will once again join legislative leadership in working towards a workable budget compromise.
It was good to be out and about this week in both Hastings and Cottage Grove to hear from area residents. I had a good time working at the well-attended St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Church pancake breakfast that took place at the Hastings Knights of Columbus hall, and was also pleased to take part in a ribbon cutting ceremony for Burggraf’s Ace Hardware and welcome its owners to Cottage Grove.
Back in St. Paul, I also had a nice visit with Hastings resident Debbie Pickle and volunteers from the Minnesota Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities.
They had traveled to the Capitol to advocate for legislation that will help improve the lives of disabled residents across the state.
Have a good weekend,
Representative Tony Jurgens
523 State Office Building
100 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
Saint Paul, Minnesota 55155