A loyal reader to LFR just emailed me about this morning’s meeting of the St. Cloud Chamber of Commerce executives group meeting. This friend of LFR told me that Tarryl Clark made this startling announcement:

“I will not raise taxes” in terms of the looming state budget deficit.

This person attended the meeting so it’s firsthand, reliable information. Here’s my first reaction to Tarryl’s declaration:

WOW!!!

Here’s my first reaction to Tarryl’s declaration:

How long before she breaks that promise???

Frankly, Tarryl doesn’t have alot of credibility on this issue. I’ll simply remind people of her evolving positions on tax increases through this Taxapalooza video:

Didn’t the DFL make the same promises in 2006? In light of this fact, shouldn’t we be more than a little skeptical of Tarryl’s statement? I pointed out in this post that Tarryl voted for every major tax increase that the Senate voted on:

MN 2007: S.F. 1024 (Business Taxes), Final Passage The Senate Omnibus Tax Bill increases the statewide property tax, paid by commercial, industrial and utility property, and increases the tax on Minnesota companies that use the foreign operating corporation structure. The Chamber opposes S.F. 1024 as a whole, even though there are two items within the bill, an up-front exemption for capital equipment and the acceleration of sales-only apportionment, that the Chamber supports.
MN 2007: S.F. 1611 (Income Tax), Final Passage The Minnesota Chamber opposes S.F. 1611, which creates a new 4th tax bracket for the individual income tax at 9.7%, the highest state income tax rate in the nation. This affects many small business owners that flow their business income through their personal income taxes.
MN 2007: S.F. 1986 (Transportation), Final Passage This is the Senate Transportation Finance bill, which the Minnesota Chamber opposes. The bill is heavy on taxes and fees for businesses. The Minnesota Chamber supports a more moderate package but this bill fails the cost-benefit analysis.

It’s time that Tarryl was held accountable for her evolving positions on tax increases. Frankly, I don’t think they’re evolving as much as they’re evasive. It’s my opinion that she’s said contradictory things before because she’s prepared to say whatever her audience at the moment wants to hear.

One thing I can’t accuse Tarryl of is lacking core principles. I don’t doubt but that she’s totally committed to raising taxes to support her unsustainable spending increases.

UPDATE: This loyal reader to LFR just sent me this update:

Her exact quote: “I’m not going to raise taxes!” (emphasis on the “I’m”) In fact, all the DFL legislators (Tarryl, Larry Haws and Larry Hosch) stated that raising taxes is not a good option.

The update also said this:

Rep. Dan Severson and Rep. Steve Gottwalt were in the room and heard her say it, as did Chamber executive, Teresa Bohnen.

It’s worth noting that Tarryl made these comments with the knowledge that the budget deficit will be the biggest in state history:

Gov. Tim Pawlenty said Tuesday that Minnesota’s budget will start hemorrhaging red ink in the next seven months, much sooner than he and other state officials had anticipated, and he’s ready to start cutting spending this month to stop the bleeding.

In a conference call from Philadelphia, where he and other governors met with President-elect Barack Obama, Pawlenty told reporters for the first time that he now expects the state to head into a deficit before the current two-year budget period ends June 30.

The immediate budget shortfall won’t be as severe as the massive deficit he expects in a revenue forecast that state finance officials will unveil Thursday, he said. Legislative analysts expect the forecast to project a $4 billion-plus deficit.

“I don’t think it (this year’s deficit) is going to be overwhelmingly large or unmanageably large, but there will be a noteworthy deficit in the current biennium,” he said. He expects the projected deficit for the next two years to be a “historic number.”

Tarryl can’t now say that she didn’t know about the historic nature of the deficits.

UPDATE II: I just spoke with Teresa Bohnen about Tarryl Clark’s quote. Ms. Bohnen said that the quote is accurate in its wording but that it was taken out of context. I invited Ms. Bohnen to make an official statement on this morning’s meeting, an invitation she immediately accepted.

Check back Thursday morning for Ms. Bohnen’s statement.

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2 Responses to “Tarryl Takes No New Taxes Pledge”

  • J. Ewing says:

    I’m all for holding the DFL responsible for what we KNOW to be outright lies. How do you suggest we do that?

  • Gary Gross says:

    Simple: Post something every time they double back on their previous statements. That & writing LTEs highlighting their duplicitousness.

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