Tuesday, May 7, 2013
"I want to see our businesses grow, not our government."
As a long-time resident of Minnesota, I would like to voice my concern about the budget proposal that recently passed the House and Senate. The tax package includes new taxes that were intended to target high-income Minnesotans, but will actually impact small businesses. Small businesses drive our economy; they create local jobs for local people. Taxes that stunt small business growth will stunt the growth of our entire economy. Before our legislators implement taxes that will hurt our small businesses and threaten our economic growth, they should review the budget and eliminate wasteful spending. Too often it seems that new taxes are the answer to everything. I think our elected officials should work a little harder to draft a budget …
Thursday, May 2, 2013
"The education finance bill took significant steps to reducing property taxes, in addition to making the reforms and funding increase necessary to maintain our world-class education system," according to Kent, a first-term DFLer from Woodbury.
For the past 10 years, property taxes on Minnesotans have gone up almost 90 percent and are approaching an unsustainable level. Middle-class families and small businesses are being hammered by an ever-growing property tax burden. The Senate has passed legislation to provide hundreds of millions of dollars in needed relief to our local communities. Every single Minnesotan has felt the increase. It is a problem that was neglected for far too long. The education finance bill took significant steps to reducing property taxes, in addition to making the reforms and funding increase necessary to maintain our world-class education system. The education finance bill buys back $150 million in school levies. Local governments are able to remove …
Wednesday, May 1, 2013
The Republican outlines her thoughts on the Crosswinds school issue, bills she has authored this session and other matters facing the Legislature.
We’re nearing the end of the 2013 legislative session in St. Paul, but we still face some tough decisions on spending over the next month. I would like to provide you with a general overview from the legislature as well as some specific issues I have been working on for you this year. I am first and foremost concerned that proposals this year to raise taxes and fees by nearly $3 billion, coupled with the bonding proposals that increase our debt, create a deadly combination that will jeopardize our economic progress. Therefore, you will not find me voting in support of most of the omnibus bills that come to the House floor this session. I continue working with the Department of Labor and Industry regarding workers' compensation advisory …
Tuesday, February 5, 2013
In response to Gov. Mark Dayton's budget proposal, Rep. Erik Severson (R-Osceola) sent an open letter to Minnesota business owners on Tuesday encouraging them to relocate to Wisconsin, where their business will be welcomed with "open arms and low taxes."
Rep. Erik Severson (R-Osceola) is taking an interesting approach to business and politics. Rather than reaching across the aisle, the Wisconsin Republican is reaching across the St. Croix River and telling Minnesota business owners that Wisconsin “welcomes your business with open arms and low taxes.” In response to Gov. Dayton’s budget proposal, Severson is encouraging Minnesota businesses owners to relocate to Wisconsin. “In the private sector, one of the most important rules for running a business is not spending more than you have. It’s a concept with which your governor, Mark Dayton, seems unfamiliar,” Severson write in an open letter sent to Minnesota business owners on Tuesday. “He does not seem to understand that high taxes drive …
Monday, January 14, 2013
The freshman senator represents all of Woodbury in the Legislature.
As a lover of history, the moment wasn’t lost on Susan Kent. She was sworn in last week as the newest state senator for Woodbury, and Kent said she was trying to “soak it all in” at the Capitol as she began her first term in District 53. “It was awe inspiring,” Kent said. The DFLer, who won 2012's most closely contested legislative race in Woodbury, said the area expects a certain amount of fiscal conservatism from its lawmakers, and plans to focus on the economy, jobs, budget and education. The Legislature will have to address a $1.1 billion deficit this session, and Kent said lawmakers must address the shortfall without cutting back on top priorities, such education or infrastructure. It’s not just a matter of spending or revenue, she …
Friday, January 4, 2013
With so many challenges on the table, Patch wants to know what issues you think are most important.
With another legislative session just around the corner, senators and representatives have no shortage of challenges ahead of them. Lawmakers plan to convene hearings on gun control in the wake of the school shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, CT. They’ll review a recommendation from a governor-appointed task force to increase gas taxes and tab fees in response to a projected $50 billion shortfall in transportation funding. The DFL majority and defeat of the marriage amendment in the 2012 election could even prompt the Legislature to take up the issue of gay marriage. And looming over everything is a projected $1.1 billion deficit that legislators will have to close before adjourning for the year. With so many issues on the …
Thursday, December 13, 2012
The average value home in Woodbury will see a $6 increase in taxes in 2013.
Despite $220,000 in cuts over the past few months, most Woodbury residents will still see a slight increase in their 2013 taxes. The Woodbury City Council on Wednesday approved the 2013 budget and levy. The increase on the average value home is expected to be $6. Home values in Woodbury are still in decline, City Administrator Clint Gridley said, though new housing units are up this year and sheriff’s sales are down. “Our market is healing,” he said. Still, because home values are down, tax rates will go up for many in Woodbury. It’s estimated that 57.5 percent of homeowners will see an increase. That increase (or decrease) depends on the assessed value of a home. Mayor Mary Giuliani Stephens noted that the value of her home has gone down …
Wednesday, October 3, 2012
Barack Obama and Mitt Romney duked it out in Denver, CO.
Barack Obama and Mitt Romney duked it out tonight in their first presidential debate in Denver, Colorado. Patch live-blogged the debate, which featured the candidates touching on domestic issues like health care, PBS funding, and America's energy sources. You can watch the entire debate on YouTube Politics. Some of the points that resonated with our live-blog panelists were split on who came out on top: Here's a sampling of responses on Twitter:
Tuesday, July 24, 2012
Tuesday night's council workshop includes several items of note.
The Woodbury City Council hasn’t met since June 27. The group is back in action with two meetings this week—tonight and Wednesday. There are several big items on the agenda for Tuesday night’s workshop meeting. Bielenberg Sports Center Expansion The city is looking to replace the sports center’s dome with a $15.5 million permanent structure. Tuesday’s discussion is expected to center on the project schematics, timeline, financing options and possibly changing the “center” to “campus” in the name, or selling naming rights, among other items. Check out previous coverage of the expansion plans. 2013 Roadwork The amount of roadwork next year will be about half of what folks have seen this summer. (The city took advantage of a favorable bidding…
Thursday, July 12, 2012
The county commissioner says “Washington County is in stellar financial shape, and will continue to be for years to come.”
You can’t read a newspaper or watch a news program now without seeing a story about the imminent financial collapse of a government entity. Whether the city of Detroit, the state of California or the European Union, the fiscal forecasts are bleak. Common threads emerge amongst government entities in dire financial straits: Not on our watch. I am honored and proud to represent Washington County. Due to decisive, long-term actions by past and current county commissioners and a top-notch staff, Washington County is in stellar financial shape, and will continue to be for years to come. The county’s total expenditures dropped 4.6 percent from 2011 to 2012 ($181.7 million to $173.4 million). Total expenditures for 2012 are less than they were …