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The SC Times has a nice article summarizing Gov. Pawlenty’s veto of the tax bill. This Larry Hosch quote can’t be ignored:

“If the governor wants property tax relief, he needs to call a special session,” said Rep. Larry Hosch, DFL-St. Joseph. “To veto a bill that has so many good things in it and is so important, because he’s afraid of using an accurate description of our budget situation, is disappointing.”

Mr. Hosch’s statement is utterly disingenuous. Let’s start with his saying that the Tax Bill had “many good things in it.” By that, Rep. Hosch means that it had lots of LGA for St. Cloud & Rockville in it. Why was LGA in the Tax Bill? Why wasn’t LGA in the Government Operations bill where it was supposed to be? Had it been in that bill, I’d bet the ranch that Gov. Pawlenty would’ve signed it within minutes. The DFL included it into this bill in the hopes that they’d either force Gov. Pawlenty into signing the bill or that they’d gain a campaign issue in 2008.

Why shouldn’t taxpayers blame the DFL for playing a ‘My way or the highway’ game with property tax relief during the regular session instead of blaming Gov. Pawlenty for not calling a special session to get property tax relief done? Had they worked with Gov. Pawlenty & the GOP legislature instead of trying to jam this bill down his & the GOP legislature’s throat, there likely would’ve been a bill signing ceremony celebrating real property tax relief.

The DFL painted a target on small businesses backs with this legislation. They did that while repeatedly chanting their tax fairness mantra. They knew that that was their only way of selling this legislation. I’d bet that they’d tell you off the record that they knew this bill was an uphill fight at best. I’d also bet that their goal wasn’t permanent property tax relief. I’d bet that the goal behind this bill was to get a campaign issue for 2008.

Let’s ask Mr. Hosch why he voted for job-killing tax increases that would’ve killed Minnesota’s economy. Let’s ask Mr. Hosch why he thought that the phony principle of tax fairness was more important than keeping Minnesota’s economy strong. Let’s ask Rep. Hosch why he doesn’t acknowledge that the property tax ‘relief’ bill that was passed was almost identical to the Senate bill, which was all about increasing LGA in the hopes that cities wouldn’t increase property taxes. Let’s ask him why it wasn’t closer to the House plan which provided real reform of the property tax system. Finally, let’s ask Rep. Hosch why he won’t acknowledge Gov. Pawlenty’s property tax relief plan? Might it be that he doesn’t want to talk about it because Gov. Pawlenty’s plan didn’t rely on job-killing tax increases?

Rep. Hosch expresses concerns with the state budget forecasters not “using an accurate description of our budget situation” but he isn’t the least bit concerned about not painting an accurate picture of who played games with property tax relief & who was serious about it. That’s the height of hypocrisy, Rep. Hosch. You should be ashamed for playing that game.

Local Republicans said they sympathized with the plight of local officials, but they supported Pawlenty’s veto and said there was no need for a special session. “I think we can wait until February,” said Rep. Steve Gottwalt, R-St. Cloud. “Had we brought legislation forward earlier and had a more cooperative effort, we might’ve been able to avoid this.”

I know from a brief conversation with Rep. Gottwalt last night that he saw the importance of the LGA for Rockville & St. Cloud but he also saw the importance of vetoing legislation with that many poison pills, too.

The inflation provision was a “poison pill” added by DFLers in the last hours of the session, said Rep. Dan Severson, R-Sauk Rapids. “They tried to force (Pawlenty) into passing a law that he said he wouldn’t sign, and now they’ve got to live with the consequences,” he said.

The DFL fought hard to get that inflation provision included because it would’ve provided instant justification for increasing taxes. That would’ve been a liberal’s dream. Unfortunately, it would’ve been a taxpayer’s nightmare. Thank God for our great goalie.

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