To the Editor:
Recently, former DFL gubernatorial candidate Matt Entenza suggested you'll be receiving property tax relief thanks to decisions made by his Democratic friends in the Legislature this past session. The article mentioned that this is happening because Democrats raised taxes only on "the rich" and on cigarettes.
Folks, nothing could be further from the truth. According to the Tax Incidence Study written by Gov. Mark Dayton's own revenue department, even if you included the best-case scenario for property tax relief, Minnesotans of every income level will still pay more to state government through higher taxes and fees.
The Democrats didn't raise taxes by more than $2 billion on the rich alone, because it was impossible. Under the Democrats' budget, everyone pays more - from the wealthiest to the poorest of the poor. In essence, the Democrats are taking dollar bills out of your right pocket through more than 50 tax and fee increases, and putting some pennies back into your left pocket through property tax relief in order to make you feel better about this government rip-off.
As for property taxes, it's worth noting that Entenza forgot to mention a large reason for lowered residential property tax projections is that property valuations decreased. Also, he declined to note that ag land property taxes are rising without reprieve because Gov. Dayton's own revenue commissioner said farmers are "doing fairly well right now" and "we didn't feel a need to add any new changes to the farming industry."
Finally, Entenza's property tax relief claims are based on assumptions that half of the money given to local governments will go directly to property taxpayers. There's nothing written in statute that forces this to happen. And that levy cap of 3.5 percent? That's only in place for one year in order to artificially hold down property taxes with an election year approaching.
Remember, if you receive tax relief this year, know that you are personally paying for that - and so much more - thanks to dozens of other tax and fee increases enacted by Entenza's Democratic cohorts last session.
State Rep. Greg Davids, R-Preston
Minnesota House Taxes Committee