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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Paul Torkelson (R)

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Wednesday, June 8, 2016

ST. PAUL – After having a tax relief bill in his possession for two weeks, and promising he wouldn’t hold the bill hostage over special session negotiations, State Representative Paul Torkelson (R-Hanska) said Governor Dayton has gone back on his word and vetoed a proposal that would have provided $800 million in tax relief to middle-class Minnesotans. 


“This bipartisan legislation received overwhelming support, but was vetoed over one word,” Torkelson said. “It was an easy fix, but its clear Governor Dayton just wanted to play politics with a plan that would have accomplished so much for so many people.”


Due to Governor Dayton’s actions, every small business owner in Minnesota loses an exemption of their first $100,000 of commercial industrial property; 61,000 farmers miss out on an agriculture bond credit; 386,000 families lose an expansion of the working family tax credit and 41,000 families see the disappearance of a childcare tax credit expansion. A substantial increase in Local Government Aid (LGA) and County Program Aid (CPA) is also gone.


Torkelson said Dayton vetoed the bill despite agreement from Republicans to make two changes he requested to fix a drafting error and restore a small sales tax exemption. In doing so, he rejected the most bipartisan tax relief proposal approved by the legislature in the past 30 years, as 89 percent of state lawmakers voted for its passage.


“Now the governor is claiming he wants to revisit the tax relief proposal in special session, but only after we agree to fund another train project in Minneapolis and spend hundreds of millions of dollars on his pet projects,” Torkelson said. “Governor Dayton needs to do a better job of explaining this rationale to the hundreds of thousands of Minnesotans who were victimized by his political actions.”