Do you drive a car?
Do you have kids in day care?
Do you pay to keep the lights on, the air conditioning running?
Do you pay for car insurance?
Do you shop at stores in the Twin Cities?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, you are likely to pay more under Democrats’ tax increase proposals and other actions this session.
Filling up your gas tank could cost more if they go through with a proposed gas tax increase.
Moms and dads could see higher costs for child care if they’ve succeeded in their effort to unionize in-home child care providers.
Your electricity bill may increase 50 percent due to additional mandates on utility companies.
Your car insurance payments will be higher because of a special fee to bail out public employee pensions — not to mention that you’ll pay more in higher vehicle registration taxes and drivers’ license fees.
And let’s not forget that shopping at Target, Cub Foods, Best Buy and other stores could be more expensive in the Twin Cities because of an additional sales tax.
And the list goes on.
Democrats promised that they were going to “tax the rich.” But in the final few days of session, we’re finding out that what they actually intend to do is tax nearly everybody and everything.
Democrats have announced a plan to raise taxes and fees by nearly $3 billion — an extra $550 for every man, woman and child in Minnesota.
And what will you get for your “investment?”
Plain and simple: You’ll pay for more wasteful and inefficient government spending.
So far this session, Democrats have introduced spending projects for items like snowmaking equipment in northern Minnesota, a new golf clubhouse and an 11-member commission to pick paint colors for bridges.
Your tax dollars will also be spent to rebrand state government programs, a tree museum, a $300,000 bathroom at one boat landing, and more.
Enough is enough. You deserve better.
Before Democrats’ ask hardworking taxpayers like you for one more dime, we need to go line-by-line through the budget to eliminate wasteful spending. We can make state government more efficient and effective. We don’t need to spend more, we need to spend better.
Republicans took that approach two years ago when facing a $5 billion budget deficit.
We balanced the state’s budget by prioritizing spending and implementing innovative reforms, and we did it without raising taxes.
Looking back now, after two years, we can see that the policies Republicans put in place worked.
We allowed Minnesota’s economy to grow and create jobs.
That $5 billion budget deficit took a dramatic turnaround and grew into a more than $3 billion budget surplus. What was once a 7.5 percent unemployment rate is now 5.3 percent.
Just last year, 55,000 new jobs were created and 60,000 Minnesotans took a risk and worked hard to start their own business.
And the best news is, Minnesota’s economy continues to improve and revenues continue to come in higher than projected.
However, Democrats still want you to believe that we need to increase taxes. They love to talk about budget deficits because it makes it sound like Minnesota needs more money. But state government doesn’t need any more money.
The reality of the situation we are in today is that we have $1 billion more revenue than in the last biennium’s budget without increasing one penny more in taxes.
The budget approach adopted and passed by Republican majorities two years ago is working. The compromise agreement signed with Gov. Mark Dayton has generated almost $3 billion of surplus revenue that has allowed us to restore our state reserves and repay $1.9 billion of the school aid shift passed in 2011.
But the progress we made is being threatened by Democrats’ tax-everyone budget.
If we stay on track, and regain stable financial footing, that is when we can begin to address our legislative wish list. It is no different from a family waiting to purchase a new household appliance or a business waiting to hire a new employee and expand.
Minnesota is well on its way. We should give this recovery a chance and keep Minnesota on its current path to a healthier economy.
David Hann, R-Eden Prairie, is Republican leader in the Minnesota Senate. Kurt Daudt, R-Crown, is Republican leader in the Minnesota House.