READER’S LETTER: Newman Explains ‘No’ Vote on Tax Bill | Letters to the Editor



I wanted to take a moment to share some of the reasons I voted against this year’s final tax bill.

The tax bill deal contains many reasons for the Minnesotans to be happy. Among other things, the bill provides full tax relief for Small Business Paycheck Protection Program loans and full relief for unemployment benefits in the event of a pandemic. These are two important provisions that I have supported all year. I am happy that they are becoming law and that the Minnesotans will save money. The bill provides significant relief for entrepreneurs, frontline workers and small businesses. It makes it easier for communities to build new fire stations. He supports the northern counties that were going to have to pay huge tax bills because of the Revenue Department’s overcharging practices against a company. These are all good things.

Until a few days ago, I was a strong supporter of the tax bill. But in the closing days of the session, a series of provisions were added to the bill at the behest of House Democrats and Governor Tim Walz that I simply could not comply with.

Most blatant: an amendment that Democrats in the House of Representatives added in the last hours before the adjournment. This amendment gave two of Governor Walz’s commissioners the power to “declare a public health disaster” to enforce health and human services laws as part of the state’s response to the COVID outbreak -19. It had nothing to do with taxes in any way; it was added under the leadership of Governor Walz, who was upset that the legislature had revoked his emergency powers the night before. This is further proof that the governor’s thirst for power and control far outweighs his concern for the health and safety of Minnesotans.

The bill also contains funds to get the ball rolling on the Rondo Land Bridge in Minneapolis, a ridiculously expensive welfare project that will ultimately cost over $ 1 billion. It provides $ 24 million for capital project selection grants, some of which will likely be used to rebuild Minneapolis after the riots last summer. It contains tax exemptions for the movie industry and college sports subscriptions. It contains increases in local government aid that are not needed. It is funding the Victoria Theater, a project that should be included in the bail bill. It lowers the minimum age for the family tax credit to 19. It allows a city to impose a special levy for energy improvement, which could increase costs for residents. These are just a few examples.

This is not a definite situation. The tax bill is not a terrible bill. But it was a bad enough bill that it lost my vote. I am in favor of tax breaks. I believe the Minnesotans deserved it. But I cannot agree with the Walz amendment or the waste added at the last minute. It sets a bad precedent and we should strive to do better.


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