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

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Thursday, February 9, 2017

ST. PAUL – After analyzing Governor Mark Dayton’s proposed budget for the 2018-19 fiscal year, State Representative Paul Torkelson (R-Hanska) said it contains too much spending and unnecessary tax increases.


“It was really no surprise as much of this budget was brought forward last time,” Torkelson said. “But a ten percent increase in state government is almost unbelievable, especially when you consider the economy isn’t growing anywhere near that rate.”


Governor Dayton is proposing a $45.8 billion budget over the next two-year budget cycle. Minnesota is spending $41.5 billion on state government during the current budget cycle.


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.


“Increased tab fees and gas taxes put an extra, unneeded financial burden on constituents in every income level,” Torkelson said. “If we continue to let government grow at a greater rate than the general economy, eventually government is going to consume us all.”


Torkelson expects the House to begin work on its budget plan after the most updated state economic forecast is unveiled.