Republicans don’t own their tax hikes

Published 9:56 am Wednesday, October 24, 2012

You may have received a number of dire warnings in your mailbox over the last two months. Apparently there is a person running for office who had the temerity to raise property taxes during troubled economic times. This week, the flier compared this person to a burglar “on the loose.”

Let’s talk about what is really going on here. Shannon Savick, like so many other small town mayors, was backed into a corner by the state Legislature. The Legislature cut funding for local government aid, or LGA, because many of its members had “no new taxes” pledges to fulfill. Lacking funding from a progressive taxation system based on income, mayors across the state had to raise property taxes, a regressive form of taxation.

Dan Dorman spoke out about these tax shifts earlier this year. He said, “We already know what a tax increase looks like. It looks like this — a property tax statement — which our businesses and families have been slapped with year after year because of the continued cuts to LGA, and we’ve had enough of that.” It has been an ongoing problem, resulting in a 65 percent increase in property taxes since 2002, mostly in outstate Minnesota.

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Does that tax shift sound unfair? That’s the context in which Shannon Savick said, “Minnesotans must pay their fair share.” She is against the property tax increases, but due to LGA cuts, she was faced with doing that or making cuts in life-saving services like police and fire protection. She made the responsible choice.

The Republican Party is trying to have it both ways on this one, and it’s dishonest. Now they’re equating Shannon Savick with criminality, which is shameful. Rich Murray should tell the “Republican Party of Minnesota” behind this baloney to call off the dogs. Better yet, you can voice your displeasure directly when you vote on Nov. 6.


Jennifer Vogt-Erickson

Albert Lea