Olseen responds to letter

To the editor
I appreciate the opportunity to respond to recent letters that have blatant misrepresentations of facts.
Stacy Pearson wrote that I voted against Job-Z—a state program to help business expansion in rural Minnesota. If Mrs. Pearson looked at my record as a Chisago County Commissioner, she would know I voted for the Anderson Window Job Z proposal in North Branch and the Polaris Job Z proposal in Wyoming (where they are currently expanding the facility—and I was indeed invited and attended the Polaris groundbreaking celebration last week.) On the 2009 Omnibus tax bill in the Senate I voted for the Rosen Amendment that would have continued the Job Z program.
Jim Lentz wrote that Green Acres raised taxes on agricultural land. In truth, no farmer or land owner ever saw property tax increases due to Legislative changes to Green Acres, because they were never implemented. Unfortunately, in completely separate action, the Department of Revenue changed the way Green Acres was calculated, using five counties in southwestern Minnesota by Worthington as the base. The trouble turned out to be these farm lands produce over 200 bushels of corn per acre driving the value of the calculation up. This impacted the Green Acres value for farmers in our area and many lost much of their tax reduction because of it. Ironically, at our place in Sunrise Township when Senator Nienow and Representative Barrett voted to take away the Homestead Market Credit our property taxes went up 6 percent and we lost virtually all our Green Acres value!
Also, to another one of Mr. Lentz’s claims, I did not vote to raise property taxes—unlike my opponent who voted to eliminate the Homestead Credit which drastically raised property taxes across Chisago County.

Rick Olseen
Sunrise, MN

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