Session came up short

To the Editor:

As part of a one-day special session on Sept. 9, I joined the overwhelming majority of House members in approving legislation that provides disaster relief to needy Minnesota communities.

I know firsthand how violent the storms were last June, as I saw some of the damage in Faribault County. I’m pleased lawmakers were able to come together and give those suffering the assistance they have been waiting for.

Thunderstorms, straight-line winds and flooding caused significant infrastructure damage across the state in late June, causing 18 counties to be declared disaster areas.

But while the Legislature acted quickly on damage related to natural disasters, it did not act on any disasters that were manmade during the 2013 regular session.

Despite bipartisan support to repeal three of the new tax increases implemented by Democrats this session – warehousing and storage taxes; a tax on telecommunications devices; and forcing farmers to pay the equipment repair tax – Gov. Mark Dayton and the Democratic leadership refused to add them to the special session agenda.

Farmers have stated loud and clear that they are not happy with their newest financial burden, and the threat of this new warehousing tax is costing our state new jobs. The Democrats went overboard with their tax increases last year, yet despite the public outcry, they chose not to do anything about it during special session.

State Rep. Bob Gunther,