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Dick Palmer: Legislative spending spree is true to form

No need to dwell on this any further. The best-laid plans are certain to fail or become badly flawed considering the amount of give and take that will be necessary to conclude this legislative session.

No need to dwell on this any further. The best-laid plans are certain to fail or become badly flawed considering the amount of give and take that will be necessary to conclude this legislative session.
All issues are up in the air, the two legislative bodies are attempting to spend record amounts of money for a myriad of projects, and there is no clear focus yet on bonding issues that were supposed to be the primary issue this session. Governor Jesse Ventura is promising to veto many of the provisions that are popping up finally in a printed version.
Speaker of the House Republican Steve Sviggum says, in reference to Republican tax cut plans, "Moms and dads will have more money in their pockets and less going back to state government."
DFL State Sen. Doug Johnson, chairman of the Senate Tax Committee responded by stating the Republican tax cut plan "comes from fantasyland."
And thus political gridlock could impede the conclusion of this session, and overtime is a distinct possibility.
Senate and House conferees will have their hands full just reading the spending bills, a.k.a. "garbage bills," let alone analyzing each and every amendment in an effort to merge the bills.
A growing state surplus has triggered profligate legislators to go for broke and spend the money on do-gooder issues that, in many cases, will become campaign fodder in the months ahead.
Minnesota still remains near the top of the nation in taxes collected on income and real estate. Perhaps the most unfair is the real estate tax that punishes those who seek to improve their living standards. There has been a continuing debate on real estate tax formulas and legislators continue to dodge the issue. Why, because the problem is too many agencies, especially local school districts, depend on a share of the real estate taxes just to maintain their programs.
In northeastern Minnesota, with a declining population base, the reality is that little can be done to cut real estate taxes without shifting the tax burden elsewhere.
If our legislators really wanted to show some aggressive leadership, instead of a run-away passion to spend, a bipartisan commission could formulate a plan using excess tax receipts for state educational needs. Real estate taxes could be cut considerably, both residential and commercial, and it would be a win-win for everyone. Naw, that's expecting too much. On with the show.
Dick Palmer is the former editor and publisher of the Budgeteer News.

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