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Gov. Mark Dayton (right), Senate Majority Leader Tom Bakk (center) and House Speaker Paul Thissen.

Richard Sennott, Star Tribune

What Minnesota's one-party rule has wrought

  • Article by: Bob Barrett
  • August 19, 2013 - 7:02 AM

This is the year hardworking taxpayers found out what one-party control of Minnesota government looks like. It isn’t Shangri-La. More like Detroit.

A recent report titled “The Fiscal Survey of States: Spring 2013,” produced by the National Governors Association (Gov. Mark Dayton serves on the group’s Executive Committee) makes very clear that Minnesota’s tax increases this year were extreme compared to the rest of the country.

Our sales tax increases were the fourth-highest in America.

Our income tax increases were second-highest.

Our corporate tax increases were the very highest, as were our tobacco tax increases (by a mile).

Considering the net increase in all taxes, Dayton and his DFL Legislature earned the silver medal in the 2013 Tax Olympics — beaten only by … Michigan.

To show how large these increases are in our state, after adding up all the tax increases imposed across all 50 states, Minnesota families and businesses will pay 33 percent of all the tax increases in the entire country!

This year our government broke records for spending as well. Minnesota is one of only two states to increase government spending by 10 percent or more.

How did this happen? It happened because of one-party control of state government.

What is the initial impact of all these tax increases? For the first time in 24 months, state revenue collections were down in the month of July (by $20 million), which happened to be the first month of the new DFL budget and new DFL tax increases.

Coincidence? Or the start of a bad pattern?

There is still time to fix this mess. With an upcoming “do-over” special session looming, I call on my colleagues to take responsibility for their late-night, last-minute decisions and remedy their disastrous budget before it’s too late.

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Bob Barrett, a Republican from Lindstrom, is a member of the Minnesota House.

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