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Minority leader: Tax hikes wrong move

Published 11:22am Wednesday, March 27, 2013 Updated 11:24am Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Minnesota government should just let the state’s economy grow naturally when it comes to budget proposals, rather than go with the DFL’s plans to raise taxes, according to Minnesota House Minority Leader Kurt Daudt.
“We have a bit of a difference of opinion on the approach,” said Daudt, who stopped in Fergus Falls Tuesday. “We think the tax increases are going to make Minnesota less competitive and will harm economic growth in Minnesota. So we think it’s the wrong move.”
Daudt, accompanied by Rep. Bud Nornes R-Fergus Falls, is part of a multi-stop state tour during this week-long break from the Legislature. The main topic of discussion was the state’s budget.
“That’s obviously the biggest thing that we need to accomplish this session,” Daudt said.
The DFL House budget plan is $2.4 billion in tax increases, while there’s a state deficit of $627 million, Daudt said.
“It’s only raising revenue to spend more revenue,” Nornes said.
The economy is getting better, Daudt said, and people can see that. With the DFL plan, the state will head right back into a deficit with a downturn in the economy, Nornes said. Another problem is that when tax increases are in place, you stop the economic growth from happening, Daudt said.
Republicans want to get back to what worked well with the budget two years ago when they created a budget without increasing taxes, Daudt said. The budget deficit was $4.4 billion two years ago, and now $627 million, which is a step in the right direction, Daudt said.
“We can see that the budget we put in place actually worked,” Daudt said. “What we did is just kind of got the government out of the way.”
Daudt said the democrats are proposing such high tax increases as part of their budget plan because they want to do some more spending. But he doesn’t agree with that.
“We shouldn’t let state government grow faster than the state’s economy,” Daudt said.
Another problem Daudt sees with the DFL budget proposal is that it would hurt businesses. Ninety-two percent of business owners in the state file their tax returns on the individual side of the tax code, Daudt said. The DFL’s plan to tax job creators hurts the middle class, he said, which sends the wrong message.
“Get government out, business can expand naturally,” Nornes said.
It’s really an if-it-isn’t-broken, don’t-fix-it type of philosophy for the Republicans when it comes to the budget, according to Daudt, because what’s been done over the past two years has worked out so well.
“We think the answer is, let Minnesota’s economy grow,” Daudt said. “Everybody wins under that scenario.”

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