I just wanted to provide you with a quick update on Monday's special session
Hennepin County is among the 18 counties set to receive portions of the $18 million dollar disaster relief funding passed Monday by the legislature & provided by the federal government through a 75/25 match funding formula. Hennepin County communities will receive about 2 million dollars of aid and 8 of the 11 communities that will receive aid are here in District 33. That money will go toward unfunded debris cleanup and infrastructure repairs and upgrades not budgeted for by local government units.
The legislature always comes to the aid of communities impacted by natural disasters, and Monday was no different. The vote was only one vote shy of being unanimous, and Governor Dayton is expected to sign the bill in the coming days.
Unfortunately, no agreement was reached to fix the tax mistakes made by the majority in the closing days of session back in May. Despite bipartisan support for the repeal of new business-to-busines taxes that began July 1st, we must wait until next February when the legislature returns to fix these burdensome mistakes. Especially since the legislature was assembled, I believe this was a missed opportunity to repeal many of the burdensome tax increases that were unnecessary and detrimental to job growth and to employees of companies affected by the increases, but I look forward to discussing the repeal of these taxes next year.
I will support any effort to repeal these unnecessary taxes which threaten job creation for hard working Minnesotans. It should be noted that for the past two months of the new biennial budget passed by the majority, the trend of excess revenues created by the past Republican biennium has now been reversed, with July and August revenues posting more than 20 million and 25 million dollars less than forecast for each month respectively.
I proclaimed on the House floor during the omnibus tax bill debate that "just because you levy a tax, does not mean that you will collect it". Let's hope that this trend does not continue into the coming months, but by the time the next session is called to order, we should be able to clearly establish whether a solid trend is emerging.
The warehousing tax is killing new business expansion in this state, new warehouse construction for a struggling construction industry and has made leasing of warehouse space uncompetitive with other states. This single tax threatens the value of commercial real estate downward and will also affect cities, townships and counties future tax capacities and their budgets.
I have learned this week that a major convenience store retailer is planning to close their stores near the state borders due to the migration of consumers to purchase cigarettes and gasoline across state lines. In addition, the business repair tax has caused many border businesses to simply have their equipment repaired across state lines also threatening the local border service and repair industry. Our modern society is a very mobile society and there is documented data available from the IRS on the shift of how adjusted gross income migrates away from high tax states to more competitive states.
The council of state governments in which our Governor Dayton serves upon its board has stated that of all of the state government tax increases in the nation combined, Minnesota's increases account for approximately one third of all the tax increases. While most states maintained current levels or decreased spending, Minnesota increased spending by nearly 6.12 billion dollars or a 10% increase in all funds spending, the largest increase in dollar spending in Minnesota history!
Last weekend I joined a delegation of legislators, state, and local officials who traveled to Virginia for the commissioning of the USS Minnesota. The USS Minnesota is a massive new submarine, more than 3 football fields long, that is just the third Navy ship to be named after our great state. The new USS Minnesota is our nation's newest ship and belongs to the Virginia class of fast attack nuclear submarines. Having gone onboard this vessel, it is absolutely amazing to see the technology incorporated into this vessel. A quantity of nuclear material the size of your fist will power the propulsion and life support systems of this vessel for the next 30 years.
I had the opportunity to meet many of the young men and women serving in our navy from Minnesota, including nearby Chanhassen and Osseo.
Several House GOP members contributed to a blog with photos and behind-the-scenes stories from the trip. You can view that blog by clicking here.
Please note, legislators paid their own way, and no tax dollars were used to finance this trip.