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Letters: Just say no to tax increases

ust say no

to tax increases

Minnesota taxpayers need to carefully examine tax legislation coming out of the current session. To date, the DFL-controlled Senate has passed legislation that would:

n Increase state gasoline taxes by 50 percent to 30 cents per gallon.

n Increase the annual license plate fee from $40 to $100 per vehicle.

n Add a $20 fee (on top of existing sales taxes) on all new vehicle purchases.

n Add a new annual "wheelage" tax of $20 on all vehicles owned.

n Increase the top state personal income tax rate from 7.85 percent to 9.7 percent (the highest in the nation).

n Increase statewide business property taxes.

It is estimated the combined impact of these tax increases (excluding the personal income and business property tax increases) will cost the typical Minnesota family $500 the first year. These substantial tax increases, if enacted into law, would have a severe negative impact on individuals, businesses and the state's economy.

It is a well-accepted economic fact that higher taxes "kill" jobs and weaken economic growth. It is hard to imagine any economic policy that could be more damaging to the state and its workers than to become the highest "taxing" state in the nation. It is equally hard to comprehend why any "common sense" politician would support this ill-conceived, unwarranted legislation. The only logical explanation for Minnesota's sky-high taxes is wasteful spending by liberal politicians and too many government bureaucrats living off taxpayers.

The unanswered question is who will be left to pay these confiscatory taxes when businesses, retirees and other impacted citizens are forced to leave the state?

Gov. Tim Pawlenty has a better alternative. His plan would:

n Hold the line on tax increases.

n Establish a budget with spending constraints in line with existing revenue sources.

n Demand accountability from state agencies and educational institutions to spend available tax dollars wisely.

It is time for taxpayers' voices to be heard. Failure to curb this unwise tax legislation, before it becomes law, will negatively impact Minnesotans for generations to come. Contact your state Representative and Senator and let your views be known.

Al Kleinke