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LETTER: Please get you hands out of my wallet

It was interesting to see that the Minnesota Management and Budget Office announced the state has an even bigger surplus than anticipated -- $1.8 billion to be exact. One could debate the economics of the surplus, and why it exists, but the fact is the government has collected more than it needs.

Even with this huge surplus the Legislature and Governor are proposing tax increases, however a recent KSTP poll showed 51 percent of Minnesotans oppose a gas tax increase. Furthermore, the KSTP poll showed that 75 percent of respondents supported the House Republican plan to spend $750 million of the surplus and other "existing funds" on highways and bridges. However, this does beg the question: if the roads and bridges are crumbling as they say they are, what are they doing with the money they are collecting now via the existing gas tax? This leads one to believe they have diverted so much money to bike paths and light rail projects that they feel it is necessary now to ask for a gas tax increase.

The answer to this is to give the surplus back. Make do with what you have collected in gas taxes and stop diverting money to nonsensical projects. If a local grocer over-charged a liberal for milk and did not return it, the liberal would organize a protest outside his store. But the government over-charges the taxpayers and collects a surplus, they get to keep it. This is liberal logic. 

Honestly, faced with these realities, how can anyone say with a straight face that we need to raise gas taxes or any other fees or taxes? So far I haven’t seen Sen. Kent make a firm statement on this, but I hope she is willing to listen to Minnesotans and reject any tax increases this session.

Brian Marum