Area legislators react to economic forecast
Reaction from area lawmakers who weighed in on Friday’s economic forecast varied considerably.
Sen. Paul Gazelka, R-Nisswa, announced a Republican package entitled the “Give it Back” Act, aimed at returning tax dollars from the expected $1.2 billion surplus for fiscal year 2014-15 to the taxpayers.
Rep. John Ward, DFL-Baxter, and Rep. Joe Radinovich, DFL-Crosby, issued a joint news release in which Radinovich said the news is a sign of progress and in which Ward called for tax relief.
Gazelka, in a news release, said the “Give it Back” act included:
• Full retroactive repeal of the Democrats’ 2013 business-to-business taxes.
• Elimination of the marriage penalty, adoption tax and full conformity to the federal personal income tax code.
• Undoing of the Democrats’ death tax.
“Hardworking Minnesotans are being over-taxed by nearly $500 for every man, woman and child,” he said. “This is really not acceptable.”
Radinovich said the economic forecast shows what happens when the budget is balanced honestly and an investment is made in middle class Minnesotans.
Ward said there was no reason to wait on tax relief for the middle class. He urged passage of a bill that passed the House Tax Committee Thursday to cut taxes for middle class families and repeal business-to-business taxes.
“Last year ... we were facing a $627 million deficit and an $800 million IOU to schools,” Ward said. “In just one year, we’ve paid back the schools, gone from a deficit to a surplus and have one of the fastest growing economies in the nation.”