Members of RPT MN met with State Senator Rod Skoe and State Representative Cindy Pugh in the second week of January. We attended the North Metro Chamber meeting the first week of the month and heard from over 20 State Representatives and State Senators, along with the entire Anoka County Board. On Friday the 11th we attended the Twin West Chamber of Commerce legislative breakfast we heard from Senator Tom Bakk, Senator Hann and State Representatives Thissen and Daubt. They talked about health care exchanges and the fiscal condition of the State of Minnesota.
They did not always agree, the Republicans were suggesting that increased taxes was a bad idea while Senator Bakk and State Representative Thissen indicated that taxes were going to increase on the wealthy. State Bakk indicated a desire to lower property taxes; he said that statewide property taxes went from $4 Billion dollars in 2002 to $8.5 Billion dollars in 2012. Senator Bakk said that he would like to lower property taxes and some business taxes. But he also made it clear to the audience that the lost revenue would have to be made up from other sources.
Senator Bakk and State Representative Thissen said that they support long term structural improvements to the Minnesota budget. This means more taxes since the State is about $1.1 billion dollars in debt and they also mentioned that the state owes the schools $1.4 Billion which occurred when the state borrowed money from the schools to balance the budget. Republican House leader Daubt said that 55,000 new jobs were created in the last year and raising taxes is not the answer. He favors creating new taxpayers to grow the state revenue systems.
RPT will be seeing many legislators to bring them the message of property tax reform. You will see on our web site that we have posted hearings relating to property taxes.