From: State Sen.
On Monday, May 20, the Minnesota Legislature adjourned after completing its work on the stateís budget for Fiscal Years 2014 and 2015. The budget plan, passed largely with support from House and Senate Democrats, includes $2.1 billion in a variety of new taxes, resulting in total spending of $38.3 billion. This is a $3 billion, 8.1 percent, increase in government spending. State Senator Jeremy Miller (R-Winona), voted in opposition to the tax plan that increases an array of sales, income and business taxes.
The February 2013 official budget forecast showed nearly $1 billion in additional revenue for the 2014-15 biennium without raising additional taxes as a result of an improving economy and more jobs being created. Instead of living within the means of the current budget and spending $1 billion more, Democratic leaders raised taxes, spent $3 billion more and created hundreds of new government jobs in St. Paul.
New items that will be taxed include new sales taxes on internet purchases, digital downloads like iTunes and eBooks, car rentals, storage facilities and equipment repair for businesses, farmers and telecom equipment. Additionally, cigarettes will see a $1.60 per pack sales tax increase, bringing the total tax to $2.83 per pack. In addition, income tax rates will rise 25 percent from 7.85 percent to 9.85 percent for individuals earning over $150,000 and couples earning over $250,000.
I am disappointed with the tax proposal passed during the final minutes of the 2013 legislative session. This tax proposal will hit all Minnesotans; individuals, families and businesses will all pay more. In addition, provisions in the tax bill will have a significant negative impact on farmers and the agriculture industry throughout the state. Before Democratic leaders ask hardworking taxpayers to pay more, we should have gone line-by-line through the budget to eliminate wasteful and unnecessary spending. We can and should be doing a better job for taxpayers to make sure government is more efficient and effective. We donít need to spend more. We need to spend smarter.
The Legislature will begin the 2014 session on Tuesday, February 25, 2014, at 12 noon.