To the Editor:
A recent letter criticized Rep. Bob Barrett and the Republican led legislature for taking a $6.2 billion deficit, –inherited from the Democrats – and turning it into a $1.2 billion dollar surplus. The writer said, “They expanded delayed payments to schools to 2.4 billion.”
Here’s the rest of the story. The Democrats own $2 billion of that from the 2010 legislature when they had the majority and voted for this $2 billion shift. Earlier this year the GOP legislature passed a bill to pay back all their school shift and begin paying off the Democrat shift but Governor Dayton vetoed the legislation saying, “It is irresponsible to use cash to pay off debt.” He then proceeded to demand a Vikings stadium that, among other things, used state debt to help pay off the St. Paul’s Excel Energy Center debt….this is irresponsible.
The writer then chastised the Republicans for reforming the broken Homestead Market Value Credit program which cities and counties asked them to do. The writer ignored the important fact and that the county lobbyists wanted to fix a broken system that didn’t adequately fund this program in 9 of 10 years causing budgeting problems for counties and cities.
At the same time the Republican legislature also passed a bill to eliminate the state portion of business property tax, helping reduce this burden on businesses, which the Governor vetoed.
The Democrats could have fixed this program but they didn’t have the courage to bring fiscal responsibility to state government, as evidenced by the $6.2 billion deficit they rang up prior to being kicked out in the last election.
We need discipline with the taxpayer’s wallet. Almost 40 years of Democrat big tax spending is going to take a few more years to fix. Send Bob Barrett back to the capitol.
Jim Lentz, Stacy