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Letter: Education budget promotes new property tax relief

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The Education Budget Division rolled out its omnibus finance bill this week showing a commitment to major education investments that Minnesotans have asked for, such as all-day kindergarten and property tax relief. The E-12 omnibus bill fits perfectly into the themes of the 2013 session: investing in Minnesota’s future; growing the economy; and reducing the property tax burden on our state’s families and businesses.

Investments included in the E-12 finance bill make a down payment on our state’s economic future. For too many years, Minnesota has relied on property taxes to solve its fiscal problems. This reliance has burdened homeowners, farmers and business owners. We often look at the aids and credits cities, counties and townships receive as property tax issues. But this year we’re focusing on education levees and trying to reduce them.

Districts all across the state would see school levy reductions and an increase in state aid, saving Minnesota families and businesses approximately $150 million in property taxes the next biennium. Reducing education levees not only provides property tax relief, but this decrease also brings needed equity to school funding.

Also in the E-12 finance bill is major investments in optional all-day kindergarten. All-day kindergarten is a significant step toward enhancing Minnesota’s commitment to quality education for all children. Research continues to show that children are more successful in their education when they participate in all-day K. Let’s give all Minnesota kids the best start for a full education and increased opportunities for their futures.

Sen. Rod Skoe

DFL-Clearbrook

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