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MN tax cut is just an election year ploy for votes

Recent media coverage has highlighted the “tax cutting frenzy” that Governor Dayton and DFL legislators recently passed. The tax cut will provide a tax relief package totaling approximately $500 million dollars. Unfortunately, most of the media coverage fails to convey the full story underlying this debate.

The politicians who are now advocating tax cuts are exactly the same individuals who, less than one year ago, were in a “feeding frenzy” to increase taxes on nearly all hard working Minnesotans. In fact, during the 2013 legislative session, Gov. Dayton and his legislative majorities increased taxes by a whopping 2.1 billion dollars and increased the biennium spending budget by 3.0 billion dollars.

This liberal “tax and spend” philosophy has resulted in Minnesota being ranked as the highest taxing state in the entire nation on farmers and small business entrepreneurs. Additionally, Minnesota is ranked among the ten highest taxing states in the nation on a per capita basis (based on U.S. Small Business Council and Tax Foundation non-partisan data). As a result of these tax policies, Minnesota has earned a well deserved reputation as a “hostile business state,” and new business investment and job creation are being negatively impacted.

This hostile business environment is dramatically revealed in the well respected Kaufman Foundation index of entrepreneurial activity, ranked by state. Minnesota’s current showing is the lowest in the nation and the worst ranking since the index was first published in 1996. In recent years, several major companies have expanded and/or created new jobs outside of the state and many Minnesotans have found it necessary to seek decent paying jobs in other locations like Sioux Falls, Fargo, or the North Dakota “Oil Patch.”

Why the sudden change in tax policy by liberal politicians? Two major factors: first, there has been a solid year of strong push back by hard working farmers, small business owners and individuals against last year’s massive tax increases. Secondly, 2014 is an election year for both Gov. Dayton and all house legislators. Suddenly the Gov. and his legislative “lemmings” who rammed through massive tax increases last year are now willing to give back a small potion of these increases in the form of 2014 tax cuts. Fortunately, most taxpayers are wise enough to see through this election year “tax giveback” rhetoric. Minnesotans deserve better. Minnesota should not be ranked last in the nation in creating new businesses when states like Mississippi and Montana are among the top five. It is time to clean house in St. Paul. Out of control “tax and spenders” need to be replaced with common sense conservatives. Evaluate the facts and let your voice be heard next November. — A.L. Kleinke, Nevis