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Letter to the Editor: Tax increase on farmers

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The agenda for a one-day special legislative session Sept. 9 is in place. It includes our top priority – providing funding for storm recovery – but lacks important cancellations of tax increases.

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Storms ripped through Minnesota last June and damaged infrastructure in at least 18 counties. Damage mainly took place in the western, central and southern portion of the state. I am pleased we will be able to appropriate disaster relief funding to help those areas recover.

I am disappointed, however, we will not be working to eliminate a tax increase on repairs of farm equipment Gov. Mark Dayton and fellow Democrats enacted last spring. The governor recently said he was open to the idea of reconsidering these taxes during the special session, but it was left off the special session’s agenda.

Many farmers already face a decline in yields. It was a cool spring and start to summer. New reports indicate 81 percent of Minnesota is “abnormally dry.” Hail also took some crops. Now, on top of a drop in revenue, farmers will be absorbing higher costs for machinery repairs. It takes more than rotating the tires, for example, to keep farm equipment running in the fields.

It concerns me the effects of this ill-advised tax will be felt throughout our economy in Greater Minnesota. The governor agrees it was a mistake. We should address it during the special session. The damage will already be done during this fall’s harvest before we can take it up when the next regular session begins in February.

Rep. Bud Nornes, Fergus Falls

 
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