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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Mary Franson (R)

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Legislative Update From Rep. Franson

Friday, February 22, 2019

Dear Friends and Neighbors,

On Tuesday, Governor Walz announced his budget proposal for the next two years, which includes enormous tax hikes and grows the size of government. Although we often hear Democrats talking about taxing the rich, the governor’s tax increases would hit middle class families in our community the hardest.

Last night I drove from St. Paul back to Alexandria to spend the weekend in our community meeting and interacting with constituents. With the 20 cent per gallon gas tax the governor wants, this trip would be more expensive. This gas tax could tack on an average of $5-7 every time you fill up. If you live in the country and drive into Alexandria for work every day, you’re going to feel this increase. This really adds up for folks in our area who are already driving greater distances and don’t have the luxury of public transportation like the metro does. It’s unfair that the governor wants you to pay more for gas so he can grow government and fund trains in the cities.

Now imagine if you’re a small business owner with trucks that are already using more gas than the average person. Following the governor’s proposal, I heard from a constituent whose business has four trucks. He estimates his yearly gas bill will increase by $2,600 per truck, which for four trucks, is $10,400 for the year. That’s a small operation, but consider the impact of higher gas taxes on a bigger company. A larger operation with 100 trucks would be forced to pay an extra $260,000 each year. These costs are devastating and have the very real potential to put you out of business.

Back to my weekend. Tomorrow morning, I plan to stop by Elden’s Fresh Foods to get groceries for next week. Grocery stores ship their good by trucks, which are fueled by gasoline. With this outrageous gas tax increase, grocery stores will need to pay more to move their products to their stores. This cuts into their margins and they will likely be forced to turn around and charge more for their products to make up these losses. The end result, of course, is that the price of every good and product you buy goes up. Better get your coupon books ready!

It’s still flu season, and I know a lot of folks in our community have been sick the last few weeks. Even when it’s nothing major, sick people, especially small children, need to see a doctor for a diagnosis and possibly antibiotics. There’s also families expecting babies who need to go in for regular checkups and eventually to have the baby delivered. Because of the governor’s tax on healthcare, these visits will be more expensive. Unfortunately, there are also people with much more serious conditions in our community who need to go to the doctor regularly for lifesaving treatments. These will be more expensive too. Under the governor’s budget, you would have to pay more for basically every trip to the doctor. This is because the governor wants to renew the sick tax, which is a tax on healthcare services that is set to expire.

My license tabs need to be renewed, so I’m planning to stop by the Douglas County licensing office to take care of that next week. The governor is also asking for higher fees on license tabs, meaning if the governor gets his way, I should expect to pay more for this as well.

Finally, Alexandria is home to numerous successful small businesses, like Greely Plumbing, Christopherson’s Bait, 2 Guys Pizza, or Gary’s Auto Glass, just to name a few. Their owners work hard, play by the rules, take risks, and make sacrifices to keep their businesses going. These small businesses are the lifeblood of rural Minnesota communities and are crucial to our prosperity. The governor’s budget would hurt small businesses – like the ones in our area – by bringing back an annual increase that would significantly raise commercial property taxes for years to come.

Needless to say, we can’t afford the higher taxes Governor Walz is asking for. In the coming weeks, lawmakers will put together separate budget proposals and I look forward to working with my colleagues to create a responsible state budget that respects the pocketbooks of taxpayers in our community and around the state.

Ellison Lawsuit

Last week, Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison filed a lawsuit against the Trump Administration for declaring a national emergency and providing funding to secure our southern border. I am in the process of drafting a bill to prohibit our Attorney General from using public, taxpayer funds to pay for lawsuits against a president trying to secure our border and protect our country. An unsecured border leaves us vulnerable to the very real dangers of violent criminals crossing the border, human trafficking, and the free flow of drugs. It’s wrong for liberal Attorney Generals to use taxpayer dollars for these political stunts, and this is what my bill seeks to address.

Please Contact Me

If you ever have any questions, comments, or concerns regarding any issue related to state government, please feel free to contact me. I can be reached via phone at 651-296-3201 or by email at

It’s an honor to represent the best!

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