If you are a small, local business that has benefited from the vital tax exemption due to accepting federal P3 loans, please do not thank State Representative Susan Akland, R-St. Pierre.
The same goes if you are a taxpayer in St. Peter – or if you (or a loved one) are a hard-working firefighter in town. Akland jeopardized the entire tax bill by voting against when it mattered most. In fact, she voted against the only bill she was able to cross the finish line this year – a bill I drafted last year to provide the City of St. Peter with a tax. Local option selling to help pay for our new St. Peter’s Fire Hall.
The deal was the result of Senate Republicans coming to an agreement with the House DFLers and the governor – a two-party system in action that ended threats of an impending shutdown of the state government.
According to the bill’s author in the House, the chairman of the tax committee, Rep. Paul Marquart, 85% of the bill’s provisions were about COVID relief for small businesses, families and those affected by the pandemic. Even the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce is quoted in a June 18, 2021 Minnesota Public Radio article as saying it was “a big deal.”
It has been a month since the bill was enacted, but we still have not heard Akland’s rationale for voting against. Don’t you think she owes us an explanation? Business owners, St. Peter’s firefighters and their families, and frankly every taxpayer in District 19A deserve answers.