Letter: Proud to support disaster relief

To the editor:

The Minnesota legislature has a tradition of helping Minnesota communities who have experienced disasters. I’m proud to have supported our disaster relief bill during the Special Session this week.

After harsh storms blew through the state at the end of June, the damage estimate for eighteen Minnesota counties totaled over $17 million. President Barack Obama signed a federal disaster declaration which paved the way for recovery and rebuilding funds. However, it had to be partly matched by a $4.5 million state contribution which requires legislative authorization. State funds came from transferring unused appropriations from previous disasters.

This aid will be available to local governments and will be limited to public and utility infrastructure. No individual assistance has been requested or authorized.

During the course of discussions on what would also be included in the 2013 Special Session, Republican leaders suggested repealing three newly-created taxes including the equipment repair tax, telecommunications equipment tax, and warehousing tax. Democrat leaders and Governor Dayton did not agree to consider any of these three taxes during the Special Session.

I had hoped we could come together to fix several tax mistakes from past session and give relief to hardworking Minnesota families. These taxes were wrong and need to be repealed.

These taxes are unpopular and affect all Minnesotans as they make everyday items more expensive. As an advocate for hardworking taxpayers, I’m going to continue to push that we repeal some of the harmful taxes passed last session.

Sen. Karin Housley
District 39

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