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1999 Taxpayers League of Minnesota Scorecard

1999 Taxpayers League of Minnesota Scorecard

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Legislative scorecard for the Taxpayers League of Minnesota for 1999.
Legislative scorecard for the Taxpayers League of Minnesota for 1999.

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Published by: The Taxpayers League of Minnesota on Apr 18, 2014
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OUR MISSION
Michael WigleyChairman, Taxpayers League
THE 1999LEGISLATIVESESSION
Darrell McKigneyPresident, Taxpayers League"The Taxpayers League'smission is to represent Minnesotanswho believe in limited government,low taxation, local control, free enterprise and theConstitutional principles set forth by our nation'sfounders.The Taxpayers League is fighting to reduce andreform taxation, eliminate government waste, and improveefficiency. It serves as a strong voice for all taxpayingcitizens in Minnesota."“The 1999 legislative session was both good andbad for taxpayers. On the good side, lawmakers finallylistened to taxpayers and passed a nearly 10% across theboard income tax cut – the first in 14 years – along witha partial rebate of the state budget surplus.On the bad side, the state budget continued toincrease at a double-digit rate. Instead of reducingspending, lawmakers continued to dramatically increasespending on many programs and found new ways to wastetaxpayers’ money on such boondoggles as light rail andtobacco endowments.And once again, Governor Ventura and statelawmakers spent one-third of the state budget surplusrather than returning it all to the people.”
T
AXPAYERS
L
EAGUE
of
M
INNESOTA
1999T
AXPAYERS
S
CORECARD
A Guide to Minnesota Lawmakers Votes on Taxes and Spending 
HOW TO USE THETAXPAYERS LEAGUESCORECARD
This scorecard reports key voteslawmakers cast on taxes and spending.A “+” vote denotes a pro-taxpayerposition. The rating reflects the percentage of pro-taxpayervotes cast. Also reported is the cumulative score for eachstate legislator for years 1997-1999.The Taxpayers League of Minnesota is anonpartisan nonprofit grassroots taxpayer advocacyorganization of over 6,000 Minnesotans which fights forlower taxes, limited government and full empowermentof taxpaying citizens in accordance with Constitutionalprinciples. Nothing in this scorecard implies endorsementof any candidate for public office.
PLEASE JOIN US INFIGHTING FOR LOWERTAXES
If you’re tired of Minnesota’s high taxes and biggovernment – and you want to join the fight to changeit – the Taxpayers League would like your help. Tosupport our cause, we suggest a gift of $25 or morebe sent to:
TTTTTAXPAXPAXPAXPAXPAAAAAYERS LEAYERS LEAYERS LEAYERS LEAYERS LEAGUE OF MINNESOGUE OF MINNESOGUE OF MINNESOGUE OF MINNESOGUE OF MINNESOTTTTTAAAAA
3030 Centre Pointe Drive, Suite 900St. Paul, Minnesota 55113(651) 639-5321Visit our website at:www.taxpayersleague.org
Paid advertisementPrepared and paid for byThe Taxpayers League of Minnesota3030 Centre Pointe Drive, Suite 900, St. Paul, Minnesota 55113Published: August 1999
TO CONTACT LAWMAKERS:
MN House Switchboard:........(651) 296-2146Toll Free:...............................(800) 657-3550MN Senate Switchboard:.......(651) 296-0504Toll Free:................................(888) 234-1112Governor’s Office..................(651) 296-3391U.S. House of Reps Switchboard(202) 225-3121U.S. Senate Switchboard......(202) 224-3121
 
Minnesota General Fund Spending Growth
Minnesota’s Exploding
State BudgetDid You Know?
Minnesotans pay the 3rd highesttotal tax burden in the nation.
- Tax Foundation
Minnesotans
 personal income hasgrown 13% slower than thenational average.
- U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis
Minnesotans work 141 days a yearjust to pay taxes
 –
 or more thanthree hours per workday.
- Tax Foundation
The average family today spendsmore on taxes than food, clothingand housing combined.
- Americans for Tax Reform
Even after the 1999 state incometax cut, Minnesotans are stillexpected to pay at least the 5thhighest income taxes in the nation.
If Governor Ventura and theLegislature had returned 100% ofthe surplus this fall, your rebatecheck could have been about150% of what you actuallyreceived.
Minnesota state and localgovernments take and spendnearly 20% of all Minnesotans
earnings.
Your Tax Dollarsat Work?
The state is spending more than$2 million on a private jet andother planes for state employees.
The State Senate is spendingthousands of dollars to refinishSenators
 desks with the exoticsecretion of a tree-dwellinginsect from India.
The state is spending $200,000on an experiment to convertturkey manure to electricity.
The state is spending $1.5 millionon
Learn and Earn,
 which payschildren to attend public schoolmore frequently.
The salary for the Chancellor ofthe Minnesota State Collegeswas recently increased from$109,000 to $185,000 per year.
The city of Minneapolis is tearingdown 722 usable public housingunits because they
re located inthe
poor
 part of town.
The state spent $300,000 on theMinnesota Frog Watch and its
Thousand Friends of Frogs
project.
In the 1990
s, state spending hasnearly doubled!
In 1999, Governor Ventura and thelegislature approved a record statebudget that continues to grow at adouble digit rate.
Only about 2/3 of the over $2 billionbudget surplus was returned totaxpayers in the 1999 rebate - the restwas spent.
Since 1998, the Minnesota Legislaturehas returned about 1/3 of the $6 billionin surplus taxes over-collected.
$0$5$10$15$20$25$30
      B      i      l      l      i     o     n     s
  1   9   7   5  1   9   7   7  1   9   7   9  1   9   8  1  1   9   8  3  1   9   8   5  1   9   8   7  1   9   8   9  1   9   9  1  1   9   9  3  1   9   9   5  1   9   9   7  1   9   9   9   2   0   0  1
Fiscal Year End
General fund spendingrequired to keep pace withinflation and populationgrowthActual Minnesota generalfund spending
 Source: Citizens for Fiscal Responsibility
 
Rating the GoRating the GoRating the GoRating the GoRating the Governorvernorvernorvernorvernor
How Do the Governor’s Actions Stack Up Against His Campaign Promises?
Jesse Ventura did not make a lot of promises during the campaign last fall, but he did make clear his views on the size, scope, and role of government in Minnesota. Here is a comparison of what Governor Ventura said during the campaign, what he proposed in his budget, and what he signed into law.
What He Signed into Law:What Candidate Ventura Said:
The Governor signed into law a $26.5 billionbudget which increases spending by about10% – the largest budget in state history.The Governor’s budget proposed almost $2.5billion in new spending, including several newgovernment programs, about a 10% increasein the state budget.Candidate Ventura promised he would holdthe line on government spending and shrinkgovernment.
GrGrGrGrGrooooowth in Gowth in Gowth in Gowth in Gowth in Government:vernment:vernment:vernment:vernment:
The Governor signed into law a 48% increasein MinnesotaCare funding.The Governor’s budget proposed a 46%increase in MinnesotaCare funding.Candidate Ventura called MinnesotaCare“socialized medicine,” and said that heopposed socialized medicine.
MinnesotaCare:MinnesotaCare:MinnesotaCare:MinnesotaCare:MinnesotaCare:
The Governor’s budget proposed a record$100 million increase in child care subsidiesfor families on welfare -- a 138% increase.Governor Ventura signed into law a record134% increase in child care subsidies forwelfare families.Candidate Ventura said subsidizing child careis not the job of the government.
Child Care Subsidies:Child Care Subsidies:Child Care Subsidies:Child Care Subsidies:Child Care Subsidies:
Candidate Ventura said “everyone frombusinesses to individuals pays too much intaxes.”The Governor’s budget proposed $2.3 billionin tax relief. Senate Democrats passed $2.5billion in tax relief, and House Republicanspassed $3.3 billion in tax relief.After holding out for $1 billion in newspending on light rail and tobaccoendowments, the Governor agreed to a dealwhich provided $2.9 billion in tax relief.
TTTTTax Cuts:ax Cuts:ax Cuts:ax Cuts:ax Cuts:
The Governor’s budget proposed returningonly 66% of the surplus and spending the rest.Candidate Ventura promised to return 100%of the surplus to taxpayers.The Governor signed into law a rebate whichreturned 66% of the surplus and spent the rest.
What He Proposed In His Budget:
BudgBudgBudgBudgBudget Surplus:et Surplus:et Surplus:et Surplus:et Surplus:
During the 1999 legislative session, Governor Ventura refused to sign a tax relief bill until the legislatureapproved borrowing $60 million to begin building a $444 million, 12-mile light rail line from downtownMinneapolis to the Mall of America. The legislature approved the Governor’s spending demands, andnow he is lobbying Minnesota’s congressmen to put even more tax dollars into the project.Unfortunately, Governor Ventura is trying to build “the little train that can’t...”
Can’t StaCan’t StaCan’t StaCan’t StaCan’t Stay y y y y Within its BudgWithin its BudgWithin its BudgWithin its BudgWithin its Budget:et:et:et:et:
The project approved by the MinnesotaState Legislature was supposed to cost$444 million to build--but now is projectedto cost at least $550 million -- even thoughit now has fewer cars and stops.Originally $6 million, the budget for “art”in the stations is still $450,000 aftercutbacks.If it stays within its new projected budget,this single light rail line will cost about $500for each Minnesota family of four just tobuild, and more every year to operate.
 Governor Ventura’s Little Train That Can’t...
Can
t Reduce CongCan
t Reduce CongCan
t Reduce CongCan
t Reduce CongCan
t Reduce Congestion:estion:estion:estion:estion:
It is estimated that the light rail line willonly take 100 out of every 50,000 cars inthe Twin Cities off the road.The proposed light rail line will only havetwo cars per train with just 72 seats each.You could buy over 2,000 new buses forthe same cost as constructing this single12-mile light rail line in Minneapolis.
Can
t JCan
t JCan
t JCan
t JCan
t Justify Its Cost:ustify Its Cost:ustify Its Cost:ustify Its Cost:ustify Its Cost:
It is estimated that taxpayers will have toprovide about $40 in subsidies per roundtrip for each new transit rider.It would be cheaper for taxpayers toprovide a new Cadillac, Mercedes Benz orPorsche to every new transit rider than tobuild and operate the light rail line.• This 12-mile train costs about the same asbuilding two new Twins stadiums.

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