To the editor
Another respectful rebuttal is needed to last week’s letter writer who, once again, voiced strong support for tax increases on Chisago County families with a false belief that support for local schools can only be achieved through $3 billion in tax/fee increases plus additional local tax increases.
In early October another $636 million was paid back to school districts as part of $2 billion the 2010 legislature borrowed from them. In total, $1.76 billion dollars has now been paid back.
Our state’s rainy day funds and budget reserves are now filed completely ($1 billion) after these funds were also raided in 2010.
Both of these one-time payments were paid for with surpluses from the two-year budget that began July 2011 and ended in June 2013.
An expanding economy supported by a watchful Republican eye on the state budget allowed this to happen. Tax increases that began July 1 had nothing to do with it.
Because these one-time payments were “one-time,” this $2.76 billion is available in the current budget to support K-12 education and other priorities. Also, tax receipts from an expanding economy have increased by several billion in the last couple of years.
I could not vote in favor of a tax bill that sticks Minnesota families with $3 billion dollars in tax/fee increase when the state already has billions in extra money.
The letter writer loves giving hundreds of millions of your taxes to a football team owner so he can profit from stadium construction but ignores the fact that Minnesota schools, despite billions more in the state checkbook, were given authority to raise local tax levies without voter approval. Most people agree that a tax bill that puts a New Jersey billionaire ahead of school kids who only attend school four days a week is completely irresponsible.
Rep. Bob Barrett