Guest opinion: Governor’s emergency powers hamper our economic recovery

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At first glance, it’s good news that we no longer have a deficit to contend with and shows that not only is our economy recovering, but our current tax levels are more than enough to fund the priorities of Minnesota families. .

Related: Customer Opinion: Instead of Raising Taxes, We Need to Cut Government Spending

Despite our new budget surplus, Governor Walz and Democrats continue to advocate for substantial tax increases that would impact Minnesotans of all income levels. Among these are increases in the tax rate for state enterprises, income tax rate, etc. The trade tax proposal would increase our current rate by 15%, which would bring Minnesota to the second highest commercial tax rate in the nation.

It is reckless and irresponsible to move forward with tax hikes in the face of our economic recovery. It will only hurt the people who were already hit hard last year. We need to make sure that the state government shares the sacrifice so many people have had to endure over the past year.

The news of the budget surplus also serves as a reminder that while the state’s economic outlook is generally optimistic, the pace of recovery has not been the same for all Minnesotans. Low-income Minnesota residents, large street businesses and others continue to suffer as Governor Walz’s universal closings wreak havoc on small businesses.

This disconnect was illustrated by the recent debate in St. Paul over the loan exemption of the Paycheck Protection Program from state taxes.

Related: Guest Opinion: Our Work Started In The 2021 Legislative Session

The federal paycheck protection program provided forgivable loans to small businesses struggling to stay afloat during the worst of the pandemic. These 100% repayable loans allowed businesses to keep their doors open and keep staff employed despite the significant financial losses suffered at the time.

These loans are not taxed federally or by any of the other upper Midwestern states except Minnesota. This puts Minnesota businesses at a competitive disadvantage and will significantly hurt small business owners who employ our neighbors and families. We cannot delay and let this important solution end up in the end-of-session political games. Now is the time to act.

With the drop in COVID-19 cases, the drop in deaths and the arrival of more vaccine options on the market, Governor Walz no longer has any reason to justify his stranglehold on the government of Minnesota through powers. emergency. After a year of one-person rule, it’s time for Governor Walz to relinquish his power, work with the legislature as we respond to the pandemic, and let the Minnesotans make decisions for themselves and their families without that the government does not dictate to them with a heavy hand. what they can and cannot do.

We have been living with COVID-19 for over a year and now understand how to protect ourselves, our families and our neighbors. It’s time for the governor to trust the Minnesotans to lead their lives responsibly.

Heintzeman, R-Nisswa, represents District 10A in the Minnesota House of Representatives

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