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David's letter to the Editor,

Fri, Oct 18th, 2002
Posted in Letter to the Editor

Al Hein, my DFL Party opponent in the race for the Minnesota House seat in District 31B, recently charged that I voted against rural interests by voting for a bill in 2001 that enabled the state to take on the levy that funds transit in Minnesota.

Al must have missed the bus on this issue, because the legislation he's talking about was the giant 2001 Omnibus Tax bill which included landmark property tax reform and a $852 million sales tax rebate. That bill which passed with broad bipartisan support -- lowered property taxes for homeowners, business owners, apartments and farmers, and finally exempted agricultural land from local school levies.

Did Al want me to vote against property tax reform that substantially lowered taxes for families in southeastern Minnesota?

That bill did contain a transit takeover. The reason? The Twin Cities Metropolitan Area was the only major metro area in the nation that funded transit "on the backs" of the property taxpayer. Changing this was a matter of equity and fairness. No community here -- Preston, Spring Valley, Lanesboro, Harmony, Mabel, Canton, La Crescent, Caledonia, Spring Grove, Hokah, Brownsville and Eitzen - lost a thing from passage of this provision.

It's sad to see my opponent try to capitalize on a tiny transportation issue inside a monumental tax reform bill, and suggest that my actions were a vote against the needs and concerns of rural Minnesota. Nothing could be further from the truth! I have been a loud (and some have said "big") advocate for rural issues at the legislature, from promotion of ethanol and biodiesel to more equitable funding for rural schools and nursing homes.

Al Hein must be desperate to conjure up such a small issue and use it to suggest that I ignore the needs of rural Minnesota. Al missed the bus on this one.

State Rep. Greg Davids

Preston, MN

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