State Representative Joyce Peppin, R-Rogers, summarized the new state budget as one that will substantially increase costs for all families in the northwest suburbs.
“The budget passed by Democratic majorities and signed into law by Governor Dayton will cause families to tighten their belts when costs increase substantially for heating bills, electric bills and health insurance payments,” Peppin said. “The cost of bread, milk and fuel will go up because of a new warehouse and storage tax. Moms and dads will find themselves paying more out-of-pocket for childcare. Even the simple things in life will be more expensive, like iTunes downloads, Amazon purchases and renewal fees on drivers’ licenses, vehicle registrations and titles. Our small businesses will also feel the crunch because of a new ‘Mom and Pop Shop’ income tax and an expanded sales tax. If these small enterprises can manage to survive, consumers will be forced to absorb the trickle-down costs.”
The Governor and his Democratic allies in the House and Senate are relying on over $2.1 billion in new revenue and over $1.2 billion in existing revenue to pay for $3 billion in increased government spending. Under their plan, government is set to grow by nearly 10 percent, five times more than the growth of the economy.
Rep. Peppin explained that the Democrats’ historically large operating budget comes at a time when Minnesota’s economy is finally on the mend after the 2008 Great Recession. Under the Republican budget of 2011, the state has seen a dramatic economic turnaround. A $5 billion deficit was turned into multiple surpluses that refilled the state’s depleted reserves and cash flow account and paid $1.8 billion to Minnesota schools. As a result, a 7.5 percent unemployment rate is now 5.3 percent, and the private economy grew 55,000 new jobs and 60,000 new businesses in the last year alone.
“The projected budget deficit in the next biennium is a very manageable $627 million, which could have easily been resolved using reserve funds and through continued economic growth. Instead, my Democratic colleagues used this small shortfall to grow government by an unprecedented degree and tax families in the northwest suburbs to pay for it,” Peppin said. “I do not believe this is wise fiscal policy, and looking at the fiscal tails and reliance on federal dollars in the different spending bills, the DFL is already set to out-spend all the new revenue they are taking in. This type of budgeting is not what Minnesota taxpayers deserve.”
Peppin went on to state that, beyond historic tax-and-spending increases, Democratic leaders demonstrated a great deal of overreach throughout the year. “Before we had a balanced budget, my colleagues prioritized the forced unionization of independent childcare providers and personal care attendants, same-sex marriage, gun control and expensive energy mandates. Unfortunately, the people of our state are starting to find out what happens with unrestrained, overreaching one-party control of state government.”
Although the 2013 legislative session has come to a close, Peppin invites and encourages constituents to contact her throughout the summer months. She can be reached at [email protected], 651-296-7806, or 281 State Office Building, 100 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., St. Paul, MN 55155.