Rep Barrett: big spending not necessary to fund priorities

To the editor

A respectful rebuttal is needed to last week’s letters which voiced strong support for tax increases on Chisago County families.

One letter inaccurately praised Governor Dayton and the new Democratic controlled legislature’s $3 million dollar tax/fee increase for paying down the school shift. The problem with this logic is that this raid on your family’s budget didn’t begin until three weeks ago (July 1). The shiny new “family car” tax won’t begin until you renew the license tabs on all the vehicles you own.

On a positive note, checks will be cut in September, with money that is in the bank today, to pay schools back another $470 million. These funds came from more people working and paying taxes in an expanding private sector economy supported by a watchful Republican eye on the state’s budget, not from tax increases on everyone.

In this Republican budget, which ended on June 30, 75 percent of the school shift we inherited from a 2010 legislature will have been paid off while filling the state’s budget reserve to its $1 billion capacity. We also helped fund the cleanup of the damaging Duluth floods while eliminating a $6.2 billion dollar deficit. Given the dire straits Minnesota was in three years ago, doing all this, without raising your taxes, was remarkable.

Paying down these one-time expenditures last year means billions are freed up this year to fund priorities, such as K-12 education. Unfortunately, the new Democratic controlled state government socked you with a $3 billion tax/fee increase beginning July 1, which will fund a lot of government waste, including millions to hide the e-pull tab funding fiasco, but allocates nothing to pay back the remaining school shift. State spending is soaring by 10 percent using your family’s checkbook. Few are happy about this. I’m sure not.

Bob Barrett

District 32B State 

Representative 

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