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Saturday, April 29, 2006

Well Said Representative Erhardt

As quoted in the City Pages blotter.

Rep. Ron Erhardt (R-Edina) 8th Term
I have always believed that the Twins are a great asset to Minnesota and the metropolitan area and that's why in '97 I voted for the bill that was primarily fees and in 2002 I voted for the Twins bill, which was in addition to some fees it actually had a referendum required of the city that was going to put the Twins in place and it had some other things. But I am going to suggest to you that this bill is the biggest grab of someone else's property since the mid-1600s, when the Dutch settlers of New York bought Manhattan from the Native Americans for $26 and some trinkets. Then it was land and now it is money that will be stolen. You all want to pay a few trinkets in sales tax if you happen to come to Hennepin County. Let me tell you that the State raises $9.4 billion in sales and income tax. Thirty percent, or $2.8 billion, is raised in Hennepin County. And what happens to that money? The State spends $484 million in LGA [local government aid], of which 71 percent goes out of Hennepin County. Hennepin County receives $100 million, the rest of you people get $384 million. Of the $100 million we get, $93 million goes to Minneapolis, so the rest of Hennepin County gets $7 million out of sales and income tax. Now you have to remember also, to put another way, Hennepin County receives aids from the State of $2100 per capita, but it pays into the state $3200 per capita. And either to refine that a little more you will say that the sales taxes collected in Hennepin County are $1058 per capita. The State average is $689 dollars [per capita]. And now you want to lay some more sales tax on top of that. I think this bill is absolutely the most incredible exercise in selfishness on the part of you who live outside of Hennepin County and who are voting for the bill. You should be ashamed of yourselves for putting on the residents of Hennepin County the extra burden of the stadium tax. And I would suggest, Representative Demmer, wherever you are, that we have our Aunt Irenes and Aunt Glorias in Hennepin County as well. And they are going to be paying for this while yours are sitting out there and enjoying it on TV. I just think it is time that somebody stands up for the taxpayers of Hennepin County and here I stand.

Mary Liz Holberg (R, Lakeville also gave a nice speech). Remember these votes in November.