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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Bjorn Olson (R)

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Friday, April 28, 2023

ST. PAUL – Minnesota House Democrats have approved their omnibus taxes proposal that actually raises taxes by $2.2 billion even though Minnesota has a $17.5 billion budget surplus. State Representative Bjorn Olson (R-Fairmont) opposed the measure.


“The House majority is claiming it is cutting taxes in this bill, but tax credits are not tax cuts,” Olson said. “When you are trying to increase spending by 40% and raise nearly $10 billion in taxes and fees in numerous other bills, it is disingenuous to claim that you are cutting taxes.”


In addition to the $2.2 billion in tax increases on job providers in Minnesota, Olson said the taxes bill would also eliminate electronic pull tabs as we know them. Specific language would eliminate the “open all” feature that has been in use in electronic pull-tab games for years and is expected to drastically alter the amount of sales – and ultimately charitable revenue – that is collected. Almost $2 billion in revenue was generated in 2022 alone from electronic pull tabs, and a significant decline in sales will impact the revenue that is sent to local nonprofits, youth sports associations, and other charities who benefit from charitable gambling.


Olson said the taxes bill appears to be the final piece in the Democrats’ tax raising puzzle. To date, the majority party has proposed $2.2 billion in tax increases in its taxes bill, $3.5 billion in its transportation bill, $744 million in its housing bill, and nearly $3 billion in its paid family and medical leave bill.


Olson added that the majority party agreed to spend the $17.5 billion surplus and increase state government spending, as the budget spending total will jump from $52 billion this budget to $70 billion in the next budget cycle.