Mary Kiffmeyer Releases Capitol Week in Review on Budget, Taxes
The following report was released by State Sen. Mary Kiffmeyer on Jan. 24.
We are starting to pick up the pace this session. As required by the constitution, Governor Dayton released his budget this week. Most of the discussion in committees focused on how the Governor’s budget will affect various department budgets.
Governor’s Budget Proposal
Governor Dayton's budget proposal took center stage this week at the Capitol. While the governor touted his plan as important tax reform, I have concerns about the unnecessary impact of over $2.1 billion in new sales taxes, including an expansion of the sales tax to include clothing on items over $100, over the counter drugs, golf lessons, hair-cuts, car repairs, and personal care services.
I believe that the Governor’s old tax and spend strategy would only damage Minnesota’s sound economic recovery. The approach of having the state live within its means and letting citizens and businesses keep more of their hard earned money, has allowed state revenues to increase by $1.6 billion over that last two years and the state employment rate has also stayed well below Federal levels. Why risk all of that progress?
The Tax Reform Division heard two bills on the complex topic of estate taxes. Contrary to the notion that estate taxes only impact the wealthy, small business owners and family farms have in the past often been caught up by the estate tax forcing them to pay more taxes. While the 2011 legislature delivered some partial estate tax relief, the problem continues as the current Minnesota exemption is less than the current federal exemption. Sen. Gazelka authored a taxpayer friendly bill (SF 40) that would bring Minnesota's estate tax in line with the federal exemption of $5 million.
Next week, it's expected the full Senate Tax Committee will meet to begin a more thorough review of the governor's tax proposals.
Keep in Touch
Please contact me with any questions or comments or if you need any assistance on a state government issue. I will work to keep you informed of our issues at the Capitol, and please feel free to pass this newsletter to your friends and neighbors.
State Senator Mary Kiffmeyer
123 State Office Building
100 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
St. Paul, MN 55155
E-mail address- email@example.com