Ready to work with Governor’s structurally balanced budget

On Tuesday January 22, Governor Mark Dayton released his budget for the 2014-2015 biennium. His proposal marks the beginning of a long, honest conversation about how to best move Minnesota forward. Though I am still waiting for additional details, I have seen the plan’s different components and I am pleased that the Governor’s budget is structurally balanced. One of my top priorities is to make sure that we once again balance our state budget without using gimmicks and do it in a fair and balanced way.
I am also encouraged to see the Governor shares my opinion that we need to address the issue of rising property taxes. For too many years, Minnesota has relied on property taxes to solve its fiscal problems. This reliance has burdened homeowners, farmers and business owners. The Governor has dedicated over $1.4 billion in property tax relief for homeowners across the state. Additionally, the Governor’s budget freezes the statewide business property tax rate for two years. We can no longer ignore the increasingly large burden we are asking local communities to carry through property taxes. I will work with Governor Dayton to find ways in which we can reduce the property tax burden on home owners and businesses throughout Minnesota.
Another major feature of the Governor’s budget is his commitment to E-12 and higher education investments. Education investments include scholarships for early childhood education, funding for all-day K, grants to make college more affordable and a K-12 funding increase by $52 in new money per student. Our children deserve quality education that prepares them to compete in a 21st century global economy.
When Governor Dayton released his budget proposal he said it was the first step. I am encouraged at the direction he is going and will continue to work with him to make sure we are putting Minnesota on a path to succeed. On Tuesday January 29, the Tax Committee will hear an overview of the Governor’s budget and examine what he proposed.

Senator Rod Skoe
Rod Skoe represents District 2, which includes all or portions of Becker, Beltrami, Clearwater, Hubbard, Lake of the Woods, Mahnomen, Otter Tail and Wadena counties in the northwestern part of the state. He chairs the Tax Committee.

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