Gov. Walz caves to House DFL over business tax hikes

On Monday, I wrote about how Minnesota’s businesses were about to be hit with a steep hike in taxes if legislators didn’t vote by Tuesday to pay back the money they borrowed from the federal government to cover unemployment insurance payments during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The debt is about a billion dollars and the state government is sitting on about that much in unspent federal funds. Most states have used these funds to repay their debts and Minnesota should do the same.

The Senate passed a bill to do just this. Governor Walz backed it. But it was torpedoed by the House DFL. They insist on making passage of this bill conditional on payments to ‘frontline’ workers from the COVID-19 pandemic. So, the deadline passed and Minnesota’s businesses were hit with a totally unnecessary tax hike, thanks to the House DFL.

Too late to help these businesses, negotiations are nevertheless ongoing. Yesterday, House Speaker Melissa Hortman found time to complain about how tiring it all was, leaving one to wonder how she thinks those business owners are going to feel.

And, also yesterday, Gov. Walz caved once again to the fringes of his party:

Gov. Walz has now ditched his support for solving this business tax hike quickly and fully embraced the House DFL’s position – the very position that created this mess in the first place. Once again, when called upon to stand up to the left of his party, Gov. Walz’ backbone is sadly lacking.