Hello from the State Capitol,
House Democrats put the finishing touches on their $12 billion tax increase this week. Their budget itself is a heavy lift
Their transportation finance proposal increases the gas tax by 20 cents per gallon – a 70% increase – and in total raises taxes by more than $4 billion dollars over four years.
In addition to the 20 cent per gallon increase which would give Minnesota the fourth highest gas tax in the country, the House Democrat transportation bill increases the vehicle registration tax, the metro sales tax, and the new vehicle sales tax will increase taxes on Minnesotans by a combined $2.3 billion dollars.
By approving this bill, House Democrats are also cutting $417 million in revenue that’s already dedicated in state law to roads and bridges (through the collection of sales taxes on auto parts, etc.) and spending it in other areas of state government. Roughly 1/3 of the proposed gasoline tax increase would then be used to replace the hundreds of millions taken from our current transportation budget.
It’s important to remember that we have a $1 billion surplus, and a law that already dedicates hundreds of millions of dollars to state transportation needs that does not raise taxes. Yet the House majority wants to eliminate this law in order for you to pay 20-cents per gallon more at the pump.
CONTROVERSIAL PUBLIC SAFETY BILL APPROVED BY HOUSE MAJORITY
There was bipartisan opposition for the House Democrat public safety finance bill this week.
The legislation contains several provisions that would soften sentencing and penalties in Minnesota, and would allow more felons to avoid incarceration by implementing presumptive probation rather than prison time for felony offenses.
The bill also takes steps to move Minnesota towards becoming a sanctuary state, and infringes on the rights of law-abiding gun owners.
It adds restrictions and background checks to private firearm transfers, effectively creating a gun registry. It also violates due process rights by allowing for the confiscation of a person’s firearms if a court grants a petition for an extreme risk protection order. The bill basically does nothing prevent violence or keep guns out of the hands of criminals who already don’t follow the law.
STATE GOVERNMENT FINANCE BILL PASSES
The House majority’s state government finance proposal grows bureaucracy and increases government spending by over $101 million. It also includes an increase to the House budget that funds pay hikes approved earlier this year by the salary commission first established by a Democrat-approved constitutional amendment.
Much like the transportation and public safety bills, I voted no on the state government plan as well. To me it is nonsensical to fund a pay raise for legislators while cutting $68 million from nursing homes.
Talk to you soon,