It's time to contact your legislator!

 

Are you writing a letter or email to your legislator about the social security benefits elimination?  Here are some tips.

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Will there be tax relief for seniors this session?

On Tuesday, the Minnesota House tax committee heard two bills which tackled the issue many of us have been following for some time, the tax on social security benefits in Minnesota. 

 HF 9 authored by Rep. Dale Lueck proposes to phase out the tax on Social Security in 5 years, (with a reduction of 20% a year until fully phased out).  Rep. Kathy Lohmer’s bill HF 213 does the same thing, less speedily, over 10 years.

The Committee heard testimony from one member of the public and a few people representing groups.  Here are some highlights.

 

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We're #3 ...on the Kiplinger Magazine worst places to retire

We've dropped a notch on the Kiplinger Magazineworst places to retire due to our high taxes.


Tax Foundation finds MN #46 in Business climate

See the full story here. 


Real, not Fake Met Council Reform is needed

On Tuesday, the Senate passed a Met Council "Reform" Which created staggered terms for the council members. On Wednesday, the House brought an offer to the Transportation Omnibus Bill Conference Committee, which included "Met Council Reform" as part of a compromise. This version of reform included the staggered terms as well as having members be elected local government officials.  We are the record for not being fans of this proposal. Here's why.

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When the state balances the scales of justice, with your checkbook

The "Claims Bill" is up on the House Floor today.  

It is the product of the Joint House/Senate Subcommittee on Claims. In theory, this Subcommittee hears and recommends to the legislature whether or not to pay claims that have been brought against the state. In reality, they meet a few times to largely rubber stamp decisions that have already been made by the Attorney General's office, the State Supreme Court, and other parties.

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Election day is TODAY Nov 3

Click to see a bigger mapCheck out our map to see if your school district has a ballot question.

See what your ballot looks like at the Secretary of State’s Website. 

 

In many towns and cities across Minnesota, there are school board elections and local ballot questions with levy referendums and levy renewals. A levy is a special tax that property owners will pay for a specified number of years.  The ballot initiative specifies what the levy is for right on the ballot.   Some examples of ballot initiatives:

  • An operating levy is to pay regular budget expenses for the school district
  • A levy to pay back (with interest) a bond, usually for construction, remodeling or equipment for the school district. 

It’s difficult to give a blanket analysis that covers all referendum situations across the state, but there are a few things you should consider when thinking about whether to vote yes or no on your school district’s local levy.

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Colleges are the 21st-century robber barons

In September, parents send their young adults to college and worry about the ever-escalating cost. One does wonder how an education got to be so expensive.

What is remarkable is the silence from the people of the left side of the political spectrum. We all remember when gasoline prices first hit $1.80 a gallon and the left, along with the media, were outraged at President George Bush and his oil buddies. There were even news reports from gas stations asking people how the high gas price would impact their finances. By the way, did we see similar stories when, during Obama’s administration, gasoline rose to $3.59 a gallon?

 

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What Happened?

The 2015 Legislative Session ended with a furious push to a chaotic, frantic finale after midnight Monday.  Both the DFL controlled Senate and the Republican controlled house packed up and vacated the Capitol, handing the building off to the construction crews before more damage was done to the taxpayers of Minnesota.

 The bipartisan agreement reached by DFL Senate Majority Leader Tom Bakk and Republican Speaker of the House Kurt Daudt is already unraveling. The gruff, unshaven Governor held a press conference with a tirade about not getting his version of early childhood education investment and vetoed the K-12 bill (now referred to as the E-12 bill) just 16 hours after the end of session.  Just last night DFL Senate K-12 chair Chuck Wiger extolled the significant virtues of the $400 million of new taxpayer dollars dedicated to educating the youth of the state.  Even media have been pointing out that the bill was bipartisan. 

So--In this mad rush to the constitutionally mandated adjournment, let’s pause and ask: what happened? 

We’ll hit some of the key points now before we begin to dig into the details in preparation for our 2015 Taxpayers League Scorecard.

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Here we are again: The Governor wants a game of chicken at Minnesotans’ expense

We nearing the end of the 2015 legislative session and Governor Dayton and the DFL Senate the GOP House and are miles apart. 

The Republicans staked out a position early of giving back the surplus.  This isn’t exactly radical given that we are forecasted to bring in budget surpluses for years to come because of the tax hikes of 2012-3.  

But as we’ve been repeatedly told, this was “just a starting point.”  Tax Committee Chair Greg Davids said as much and Speaker Kurt Daudt has said that he’s willing to split the difference with the Governor.  And that is just the Tax Bill.

But Republicans caving that quickly on major items didn’t give the Governor what he really wants.  What he really wants is a Government shutdown.  Everything that has happened tells us that. 

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