Founded in 1937, the Tax Foundation is an independent, non-partisan Washington, D.C.-based think tank that collects data and publishes research studies on U.S. tax policies at both the federal and state levels. Last week, the group came out with its 2017 “Tax Climate Index” and, unfortunately, Minnesota didn’t fare too well. When considering corporate, individual income, sales, property and unemployment insurance taxes, Minnesota finished almost dead last. Only Vermont, Washington, D.C., California, New York and New Jersey have worse tax climates, the foundation reported. (See the full report here: http://taxfoundation.org/article/2017-state-business-tax-climate-index ) In other words, Minnesota is nearly #1 in having the worst tax climate in the entire United States. As a small business owner and candidate for state senate, I am not anti-tax. I understand taxes are the price we pay to have quality schools, good roads, public safety, care for our seniors and disabled, and a government that works. And I also understand that due to our climate, and high quality of life, Minnesota will never become a low tax state. However, as a goal, we should strive to get out of the top 10 in all tax categories and create a more tax friendly environment for senior citizens, local small business owners and veterans. My opponent, Kevin Dahle, takes a different view. He has consistently voted for higher taxes across the board. His record is, in a word, horrible.

  • He voted to raise the income tax, creating a new fourth tier giving Minnesota the 4th highest income tax rate in the country.
  • He voted to raise the cigarette tax by $1.60 per pack, more than doubling a tax that falls mostly on low-income Minnesotans.
  • He voted to expand the sales tax to warehousing and storage, driving Minnesota businesses out of the state.
  • He voted to expand the sales tax to farm equipment, hurting Minnesota farmers and agribusiness.
  • He voted to add a new 10% gift tax on top of Minnesota’s current estate tax.
  • He even voted to increase the sales tax on Internet downloads.
  • He voted to raise the state gas tax over 16 cents per gallon, a 50% increase, just as Minnesotans were starting to appreciate $2 per gallon gas at the pump.
  • He voted to raise the sales tax in the metro area by .75 cents.
  • He made owning a car more expensive for every Minnesota family by increasing the vehicle registration tax or “tab fee,” the vehicle transaction filing fee and the vehicle title transfer surcharge.
  • He voted to raise property taxes on small businesses.

 

I’ll take a different approach. As your state senator, I’ll be a voice of reason on taxes and fight wasteful spending. My goal will always be to balance the state budget without raising taxes. If government needs more revenue, it should be raised by increasing the number of small businesses paying taxes, by increasing jobs and the number of tax-paying workers. When we grow our economy, we automatically grow the amount of revenue government has. Isn’t that a better way than through class warfare politics which pits people against each other?

Minnesotans deserve better.

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