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Clean Water, Wildlife, Cultural Heritage and Natural Areas Amendment?

24 posts in this topic

Hope you all know about this important amendment vote coming up this November.

$100 million dedicated funding for habitat and another $100 million dedicated for clean water.

If you don't vote, it's an automatic "NO" vote.

FM, where's the link and Public Service Announcement?

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I think most on here are against it. There was a lot of discussion in the political thread awhile back and it seemed like the majority were not for it at all.

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WHAT?

I thought that would be like preaching to the choir.

Other than the .15 a day what's not to like?

I went back 5 pages and couldn't find it.

Link please.

(Found it. Looooong and off track.)

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yeah i'd second the preaching to the choir. Heck I'm way for it, and I'm almost broke. I'll gladly pay for that dedicated funding!

I'm guessing those in opposition are gonna be the most vocal, which may account for why bruledrifter feels most are against it

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Where else are we going to get that kind of money for habitat, public hunting areas and improving our 10,000 lakes?

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It's mostly about the idea of a tax increase and government overspending the money that already should be used for the resources. Also there is a lot of problems with the "arts" being added to it.

It really comes down to a partisan thing. The majority of right leaning folks are against it, and the left leaning folks are for it.

If you look at pages 14-17 in the Outdoor discussion threads there is a lot about it.

Here is a link to one of the busiest threads. I hope it works and I don't get banned for posting a link. I'm not sure how to post a hyper link (I believe that's what they're called)

http://www.fishingminnesota.com/forum/ubbthreads.php/topics/1275748/Tax_me_some_more#Post1275748

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That's just it. It's not that we are against the goals of the amendment but the means to acheive those goals and I disagree that this is a partisan thing. That's a bunch of bul...well you know what I mean.

If they could come up with an amendment that would dedicate a precentage or fixed dollar amount from the existing budget, my guess is that it would pass without a problem. The problem is however that they won't do that because it would mean something else would have to go and they know that it would be political suicide to introduce a bill that would raise taxes to acheive the goal. This way they can do just that and save face at the same time. If we vote it in then they are a hero and if we vote it out they don't get accused of raising taxes. It's a win-win situation politically.

Bob

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From 6.5% to 6.875% sales tax. That's estimated at 15 cents per day for the "average" family.

I know it's "incramentalization", but COME ON, where else are we going to get THIS MUCH MONEY for these projects?

At least most of this money will be going DIRECTLY towards saving our famous MN resources. How much land are we losing EVERY DAY to development, never to get back? We can't wait for something better to come along.

"I would vote for it if it wasn't for the Arts part."............Would never pass without it.

How about thinking this instead, "Hey, we found a way for the Arts people (that would never vote yes for Habitat) to help us pass this Habitat Amendment." I think a lot of Arts people do care about Habitat and Clean Water; just like a lot of outdoorsmen/women that like The Arts (photography, painting,um....Okay I've run out of art stuff I like.)

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Snapcrack, if I were the chior, you would be preaching to it.

It definitely does have a few flaws, however, it is the best we are going to get, and life is all about compromises. In order to get this on the ballot, it needed to include another demographic of people. By having that other demographic involved, it will only help it pass.

I have a lot of friends in the cities that are not avid outdoors men, and are clueless to this. So I'm trying my best to educate them on this and hope they do the same with other friends.

I really hope it passes. And I also really hope they do with it as they say, and not turn it into a complete quagmire.

(I hope that this topic may stay up here in the hunting forum. By sticking it down in Silly Town (Discussion thread) it will just be yet another dead horse that gets beat down. By keeping it up here it may reach another group on FM that doesn't play in Silly Town, and educate them and help them make an informed decision.)

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I think part of it presedent. We pass this and they'll basically be given the green light to add another .x% on something else.

The small amount of sales added is almost not negligable to many of us, this is true but what about those that struggle from paycheck to paycheck? This is a sales tax increase and there is no deduction because sales tax is not tax deductible.

.375% here and .5% there and .25% there and we suddenly have another 1.125% increase in taxes. We are in an economic time when auto and home heating fuel has risen 300% in the last four years, foodcosts are up 50% or more in the past year, electricity has jumped 40% in the past year, gasoline tax increase will be 17.5%, not to mention housing cost (rent included), and others and we want to add more?

I feel if our we want more money for this purpose then lets pressure our elected (hired) officials to improve our economic outlook and they'll get all the money they need. Dedicate 2% of our current budget for this cause instead.

Bob

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I think part of it presedent. We pass this and they'll basically be given the green light to add another .x% on something else.

I don't understand this paranioa. I mean they are putting this to a vote, for only the amount proposed for 25 years or something, it's a constitutional admendment. If they want to raise taxes on something else, will they not have to go through the same process again????

I don't think this gives the Govt the ability to just go ahead and start raising taxes on everything.

It's not perect! Nothing when it comes to government is! But it helps!

Sure, it would be great if our elected officials would get their $h!zzo together and start spending the money we already pay in taxes the way it should be spent. But that just isn't going to happen.

It stinks we have to pay a little more in taxes to help protect our natural resources. But if that money is going to be specifically spent on natural resources, which it is, then so be it! Our natural resources mean enough to me to increase my taxes a little more. I sure wish there was another way, but there aint!

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I do not know if anyone ever answered this:

1. If this passes will other traditional DNR funding get cuts while the amendment $$ replaces the cut amount? Are there any safe guards against this from happening?

- From what I have seen the answer is maybe. The legislature can/could cut current funding levels and place it into another government body.

I maybe wrong, but would like to know.

If I give you $100,000 to pay off your house would you use your current house payment to buy a new car?

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That is a GREAT question!!!! I would LOVE to know that! That could change my tune real quick!

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If you read the wording of the proposal (H.F. 2285) it says that the funds raised must supplement traditional sources and not be used as a substitute. How difficult do you think it will be to argue about what "traditional" means?

Consider what they did with the state lottery. Once we passed the amendment based on what we were told it would be use for and befoe the first ticket was sold, they began to change how the funds would be allocated, reducing the percentage for the environment.

Bob

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Well if that does happen, I guess I can officially lose all trust and respect for the govenment! (not that I hold a whole lot now!) smile

We'll see how it plays out.......I guess!

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It's too bad. I was looking through the current amendment proposals on the books and there is one that would have dedicated all sales tax collected by the sale of hunting, fishing, and other supplies (don't recall the exact wording) to be used for the same purpose as this bill with the exception of the arts. Sounds to me like this would have been a much more acceptable option (for me anyway). Rather than increase the sales tax, just assign it more like a use tax.

I believe some of this is done already but it looked like this proposal would have dedicated all of it.

Bob

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The big question I have is, this ammendment goes to 2034 right? What happens after that? Now the funding is gone? The additional .375% sales tax goes away (Yeah right)? I have wondered about these. Anyone know?

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That would have been great! I guess I thought there was a certain percent of tax on outdoor related items that did go towards natural resoures. I believe there is????

I don't get the anomosity towards the art end of it. Sure, most of us aren't artists, but the "arts" is a broad term that covers a lot of things that are also part of the cultural resourses that are also very important to our state. Not all of our money that MN makes comes for the outdoors.

Sure it would have been great to each have their own respective pots to pull funding from, but like I've said, nothing in the government is perfect, and its all about compromise!

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I just got off the phone with the "Vote Yes Minnesota" organization and told them about this great HSOforum. I think we will hear facts about this proposal and clarification soon. This will only help our discussion by answering our questions and addressing any misconseptions. Stay tuned.......

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I guess I thought there was a certain percent of tax on outdoor related items that did go towards natural resoures. I believe there is????

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If I'm understanding the process, I believe this is the proposal as it now stands. Someone correct me if I'm wrong. It passed on February 19, 2008 and will be presented to the people this fall. In case someone doubts my source, I copied this directly from the Minnesota State Legislature HSOforum. Just search for it, click on the Statutes, Laws, and Rules tab, and search the House Bills for Amendment. You'll find quite a list. When you find H.F. 2285 check the status tab to see that it was passed.

Now you can know exactly what the question is without my or anyone else's opinionated view. You will be educated when it appears on the ballot. This isn't the entire contents of the bill as it also describes how the question will be presented along with other information. To see the entire bill you can search it at the State Legislature's HSOforum.

Good luck.

Quote:
Section 1. CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT.

1.9 An amendment to the Minnesota Constitution is proposed to the people. If the

1.10 amendment is adopted, a section will be added to article XI, to read:

1.11 Sec. 15. Beginning July 1, 2009, until June 30, 2034, the sales and use tax rate shall be

1.12 increased by three-eighths of one percent on sales and uses taxable under the general state

1.13 sales and use tax law. Receipts from the increase, plus penalties and interest and reduced

1.14 by any refunds, are dedicated, for the benefit of Minnesotans, to the following funds: 33

1.15 percent of the receipts shall be deposited in the outdoor heritage fund and may be spent

1.16 only to restore, protect, and enhance wetlands, prairies, forests, and habitat for fish, game,

1.17 and wildlife; 33 percent of the receipts shall be deposited in the clean water fund and may

1.18 be spent only to protect, enhance, and restore water quality in lakes, rivers, and streams

1.19 and to protect groundwater from degradation, and at least five percent of the clean water

1.20 fund must be spent only to protect drinking water sources; 14.25 percent of the receipts

1.21 shall be deposited in the parks and trails fund and may be spent only to support parks and

1.22 trails of regional or statewide significance; and 19.75 percent shall be deposited in the arts

1.23 and cultural heritage fund and may be spent only for arts, arts education, and arts access

1.24 and to preserve Minnesota's history and cultural heritage. An outdoor heritage fund; a

1.25 parks and trails fund; a clean water fund and a sustainable drinking water account; and

2.1 an arts and cultural heritage fund are created in the state treasury. The money dedicated

2.2 under this section shall be appropriated by law. The dedicated money under this section

2.3 must supplement traditional sources of funding for these purposes and may not be used

2.4 as a substitute. Land acquired by fee with money deposited in the outdoor heritage fund

2.5 under this section must be open to the public taking of fish and game during the open

2.6 season unless otherwise provided by law. If the base of the sales and use tax is changed,

2.7 the sales and use tax rate in this section may be proportionally adjusted by law to within

2.8 one-thousandth of one percent in order to provide as close to the same amount of revenue

2.9 as practicable for each fund as existed before the change to the sales and use tax.

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All of the current MN DNR staff (CO's, fish and game, forestry) could fall under the tax increase. Meaning, the DNR could/can place that staff time into this category. Now it says the tax can not replace traditional income sources only supplement. FACT- if a traditional source of income for the DNR was decreased (i.e. general fund allocation) then these $$ could be used to supplement traditional money lost.

Example: Mom gives son $20 a month for chores. Dad says you do these other chores he will give son another $20. Mom finds out dad is giving son extra money and now decides that son should only get $10 for the same amount of work (reallocation of money). Mom then gives daughter an extra $10 to go shopping with her.

Dads money now pays for half of the original chores while mom reallocates to the other child.

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