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Letter: Vote no on amendment question

On Nov. 4, Minnesotans will have the opportunity to oppose a proposed amendment to Minnesota's constitution, and I would strongly urge you to do so.

The proposed amendment increases the state's sales tax rate by three-eighths of 1 percent, with funding dedicated to wildlife, art, parks, water restoration, etc. If passed, the result will be an $11 billion tax increase over 25 years, and this tax increase will then be a permanent part of Minnesota's constitution. It is important to remember that the only way this increase can be reduced or eliminated will be to again amend the Minnesota Constitution through another ballot question.

A significant portion of the sales tax increase revenue could be used by the government to buy more land, resulting in higher property taxes for everyone and a bigger drain on the state budget to pay for the management of those acres.

As a farmer, I strongly support and work to ensure that all Minnesotans have clean air and water. I am dedicated to protecting and enhancing our wildlife, wetlands and other natural resources. However, while many of the programs and projects that could be funded by the proposed tax increase may be worthwhile, I believe that the decision to fund them should go through the same legislative process as all other state programs and projects.

The citizens of Minnesota elect legislators to make tough decisions regarding taxes and funding programs and projects. We should allow them to do so. An increase in the statewide sales tax rate should not be contained in the Minnesota Constitution.

Join me in voting no to the proposed constitutional amendment and state sales tax increase on the Nov. 4 ballot.

Kevin Paap

Garden City

Minnesota Farm Bureau Federation President