District 1B State Rep. Deb Kiel, R-Crookston, is expressing concern over the hit rural Minnesotans will take from new taxes and fees proposed by the House majority in their Environment and Agriculture Policy and Finance omnibus bill.
“Democrats from Minneapolis and St. Paul are drastically increasing regulations and fees on rural Minnesota and the agricultural industry, forcing hardworking rural taxpayers, small businesses and farmers to pay more for wasteful spending and over 100 new government jobs at the Department of Natural Resources and Minnesota Pollution Control Agency,” Kiel said.
Kiel explained that the House majority’s bill raises dozens of new fees and taxes, which would cost hardworking taxpayers and businesses at least $14 million. The most onerous of these fees is an increase to water permit holders—like cities, homeowners, hospitals, nursing homes and farmers— who could see their fees go up by as much as 600 percent in some cases.
Kiel said the additional revenue collected from these fees and taxes will go towards wasteful spending on duplicative and unneeded government programs. For example, a proposed recycling program will increase mandates on local businesses while raising taxes for consumers on paint, carpeting, and batteries. Rep. Kiel explained that rural counties currently have a successful and effective recycling program in place.
“At the end of the day, the fees in this bill are just another nail in the coffin,” Kiel said. “Small businesses and hardworking taxpayers now have one more reason to relocate to North Dakota.”
The House Environment and Agriculture Policy and Finance Omnibus bill passed off the House floor on Thursday, April 18, and awaits a hearing in conference committee.