ST. PAUL – The 2023 legislative session concluded Monday and Rep. Spencer Igo, R-Wabana Township, said it will most likely be remembered for increasing state spending by more than 40 percent while raising taxes by $10 billion despite a $17.5 billion state surplus.
Igo said the new two-year state budget will increase spending from $52 billion to $72 billion. Tax hikes include raising the state’s gas tax by 3.5 cents per gallon and tying it to inflation, increasing license tab fees, adding a 50-cent delivery tax, a new payroll tax that will hit employers and employees alike, and more.
“Many Minnesotans, rightfully so, expected to see significant tax relief this year thanks to the state’s record-setting budget surplus,” said Igo. “Instead, all of us will have to pay more to cover the costs of this massive increase in government spending. We really had a chance to provide generational, transformational tax relief for all of Minnesota that would have helped families mitigate the impacts of high inflation. For that reason and others, this session ended up being a huge, missed opportunity.”
Igo shared his disappointment that majorities in the House, Senate, and Governor Walz failed to support a full elimination of the state’s Social Security tax despite nearly universal support for that move among the public. He also noted that Governor Walz began the session by supporting $2,000 surplus rebates for joint filers, with the final amount accounting for just a fraction of that at $260 per person or $520 per couple.
“Despite the many disappointments, we nevertheless were able to work together at times and deliver results for Minnesota,” said Igo. “I think of things like legislation we unanimously approved that will provide needed support for our veterans and emergency funding that will help save our rural nursing homes. These examples, and there are others, show that when we set aside partisan differences, work together, and focus on issues that unite us instead of divide us, we can accomplish great things. It is too bad that there were not more examples of this from the 2023 legislative session.”
Republicans scored a big win for nursing homes by successfully negotiating $300 million more than Democrats had proposed providing them. Igo said this added funding will help the industry at a time nursing homes have been forced to close and families have been left scrambling to find care for their loved ones.
Additionally, both legislative bodies approved a capital investment package to fund infrastructure projects around the state Monday, just hours before the 2023 session adjourned. Igo was able to secure funding for several local projects including:
- $8.875 million to mitigate rising water levels at the Canisteo Legacy Mine Pit Complex.
- $1.5 million to design and construct water and sewer infrastructure in Floodwood.
- $10 million for the construction of a Public Safety Center in Hibbing.
Igo encourages local residents to continue reaching out to his office if they need assistance in a matter related to state government. He can be reached at 651-296-4936 or firstname.lastname@example.org.