To Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka, R-Nisswa, Senator Bill Ingebrigtsen, Members of the Senate, House Speaker Melissa Hortman, Representative Bud Nornes and Members of the House:
The majority of Minnesota voters desire legislators to discuss issues and work together to create a budget for the well being of people in the state of Minnesota.
First, the 2 percent tax on medical providers, which funds health care for low-income people, seniors and working families. It is not a new tax and it has been effective for 27 years. If you throw it out, you add more chaos to health care for Minnesotans. It seems similar to the sales tax and providers pass the cost on to people who use more health care, pay more, people who use less pay less. Seems reasonable. Taxpayers will not see a decrease in their health care costs by eliminating this tax. We will just need to find another way to deliver care to 1.2 million Minnesotans.
Second, the gas tax is a valid way to provide money for roads, bridges and transportation infrastructure. The gas tax is a user fee. People who use roads will help maintain them by paying the gas tax. Minnesota residents are not the only people who use the highways so why should they pay for all of the costs out of the General Fund. A combination of general fund money and gas tax is a sound financial approach to funding transportation.
Third, education funding is critical to our state right now and in the future. Minnesotans have paid their taxes, they support their school districts with additional operating levies and there is a healthy reserve fund so step up and fulfill your responsibility to fund school districts across the state.