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Governor Tim Pawlenty: Hero of the Taxpayer


Posted by Kelly William Cobb on Friday, May 15th, 2009, 11:49 AM PERMALINK


After the legislature proposed billions in higher taxes this year, Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty (R) announced yesterday that he will trim and balance the state's budget without raising taxes.

Earlier this week, the legislature finished passing a series of budget bills that authorized $34 billion in spending over the next year.  However, in a glaring sign of fiscal irresponsibility, the legislature's budget overspends anticipated revenues by nearly $3 billion.  Gov. Pawlenty, a signer of the Taxpayer Protection Pledge to oppose all tax increases, announced he would use a line item veto to balance the budget, while maintaining his commitment to veto any tax increases.

The Democratic-Farmer-Labor (DFL) led legislature has been pressing for numerous tax hikes since the beginning of the legislative session.  The Senate proposed $2.2 billion in higher income taxes, while the House proposed $1.5 billion in higher taxes on resident and small business income, digital goods, cigarettes, and alcohol beverages, as well as eliminating a number of tax deductions.

Legislators recently approved a bill proposed by the Tax Omnibus Conference Committee that would raise $1 billion in higher taxes on income, alcohol beverages, and credit card companies. However, Gov. Pawlenty - maintaining his no-tax pledge - quickly vetoed the bill last week.

Below is ATR's press release commending Gov. Pawlenty or click here for a PDF version.

Taxpayer Group Commends Gov. Tim Pawlenty
for Pledging to Balance Budget Without Tax Increases
 
Washington, D.C. – Americans for Tax Reform commends Gov. Tim Pawlenty (R) for upholding his Taxpayer Protection Pledge and vowing to balance Minnesota’s budget without any tax increases passed by the legislature.
 
Gov. Pawlenty is a signer of the Taxpayer Protection Pledge, a written commitment to Minnesotans to “oppose and veto any and all efforts to increase taxes.”
 
Minnesota lawmakers have pushed for over a dozen new tax increases this year. The Senate proposed $2.2 billion in higher income taxes, while the House proposed $1.5 billion in higher taxes on resident and small business income, digital goods, cigarettes, and alcohol beverages, as well as eliminating a number of tax deductions. Legislators recently approved a bill proposed by the Tax Omnibus Conference Committee that would raise $1 billion in higher taxes on income, alcohol beverages, and credit card companies. However, Gov. Pawlenty quickly vetoed the bill last week.
 
“Raising the income tax would destroy small businesses that are the state’s primary job creators,” said Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform. “Additionally, taxing declining revenue sources like alcohol or cigarettes will only lead to more tax increases in the future to compensate. I applaud Gov. Pawlenty for his leadership and dedication to the taxpayers and consumers of Minnesota by maintaining his steadfast opposition to higher taxes.”
 
On Wednesday, the legislature finished passing a series of budget bills that authorize $34 billion in spending over the next year. However, the passed budget overspends anticipated revenues by nearly $3 billion. Gov. Pawlenty yesterday announced he would use a line item veto to trim and balance the budget without raising taxes.
 
“It is fiscally irresponsible for the legislature to approve a budget that overspends revenues for the next year, while continuing to press for tax hikes on small businesses, residents, and consumers,” added Norquist. “Thankfully, Gov. Pawlenty understands that you do not raise taxes and take more money out of Minnesotans’ pockets during a recession. By vetoing tax increases and vowing to trim the bloated state budget, Gov. Pawlenty has shown he is truly a hero of the taxpayer.”

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