We all will pay the price

To the Editor:

The 2013 legislative session has ended, and it will be remembered as the year Democrats enacted the largest tax increase proposals in Minnesota’s history.

With one-party rule throughout state government, Democrats just couldn’t help themselves and went overboard with their legislation. Whether it was legalizing gay marriage, trying to unionize childcare providers or forcing all Minnesotans to pay more to the state’s coffers, this is one of the most blatant examples of government overreach we have ever seen.

Democrats followed through on their plan to raise income taxes on people with higher incomes, many of whom are employers. Cigarette taxes also will increase by $1.60 per pack. But the tax increase that will impact every hard-working Minnesotan is the business-to-business sales tax that will increase costs for businesses across Minnesota. Business owners just aren’t going to absorb these costs and move on with life. These taxes will be passed on to taxpayers through higher prices on the goods and services they are providing their customers.

Money also will be diverted from the General Fund in order to help make payments on the Vikings stadium if e-pulltab revenue continues not to meet expectations. This includes some of the new cigarette tax increase money and revenue collected through another new business tax.

We were promised by Gov. Dayton that no money from the state’s General Fund would be used to fund a Vikings stadium. Now, here we are, just one year later, and money that could be used for schools, nursing homes or roads will fund a stadium.

In addition, Democrats broke their promise to Minnesotans to pay back the school shift.

They also approved legislation that attempts to force the unionization of childcare providers – a move that nearly all parents and most providers oppose because it will raise the cost of weekly daycare. This forced unionization legislation was so important that I was willing to debate it until the final minute of session. It is an absolute travesty that unions are attempting to take over independent small business people, many of whom have no desire to form a union.

From start to finish, this was a session of government overreach, and now hard-working Minnesotans are going to pay the price.

State Rep. Bob Gunther