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Letter to the editor: Republican candidate urges 3A voters to ‘vote smart’
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opinion Two Harbors, 55616
Two Harbors Minnesota 109 Waterfront Dr. 55616

From Eric Johnson

Candidate for State Rep., District 3A

My campaign for Minnesota House of Representatives here in District 3A is based on my “Vote Smart” platform. This platform includes the concepts of Smarter Taxes and Smarter Government. Let’s start with Smarter Taxes. The flawed ideology of mindless spending and increased taxing has to stop. Throwing our precious financial resources down the black hole of bureaucracy is both irresponsible and unsustainable.

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Last year, our state legislators handed us the largest tax increase in Minnesota history raising $2.1 billion in new taxes and the biggest budget in history. That averages to an increase of $1000 for every household in Minnesota. Our legislators say the budget is balanced, but that’s only if we exclude $10 billion in federal subsidies, ignore tens of billions in un-funded pension liabilities and pretend that we don’t have to pay off the billions of dollars of outstanding state bonds. For the budget to be balanced, we also have to ignore all dedicated funding like the gas taxes, lottery profits and fees like snowmobile licenses and fishing licenses. This over-taxation produced a surplus of over a billion dollars. This is somewhat embarrassing for the legislators, outrageous for us taxpayers and problematic for those hoping to be re-elected. In a recent journal article Representative Dave Dill neglected to mention that the massive surplus was the result of taxes he voted for last year. He would like us to believe that the windfall came from an improving economy.

Many vocal citizens are calling for the entire huge surplus to be returned to those who were over-taxed. Our legislators have been busy explaining why they couldn’t possible give us our money back. They have big plans for it; they always do.

Since this is an election year, over the past weeks some smoke and mirrors were used to provide what is being billed as a tax relief plan. It is nothing of the sort. A few of the more egregious taxes (that our legislators voted for last year) that were detrimental to business, and in turn jobs, are now being repealed and we are asked to believe that we are getting tax relief. The repealed taxes give us back about 25¢ on the overtaxed dollar. Oh my.

Passing a tax one year, driving business out of the state and then repealing it the next year makes no sense. What a waste of time and energy not to mention the jobs that these taxes drove out of Minnesota

We need to elect state officials whose best interest is our best interest here in rural Minnesota. They need to do their job and represent not only the people that voted for them but all the people in their district. In November let’s do better. Get to know your candidates and their records on voting for higher taxes. Vote Smart and Vote Eric Johnson for Minnesota House 3A.

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