Name: David Schaaf
Current employment: Real estate investor.
Public office experience: Former state senator, eight years and former mayor and councilman, eight years.
Party affiliation: DFL
What should the Legislature do to encourage growth in Minnesota’s economy?
Balance the state budget without further cuts in school, county and city personnel. Pass a bonding bill to pay for needed road, bridge and infrastructure improvements. The Minnesota economy is doing much better than nationally. We should look at tax reform to make business taxes fairer and create incentives to bring jobs back from overseas.
What will your three priorities be as a legislator?
A) Cut tax expenditures 10 percent across the board. A recent study by the non-partisan Citizen’s League, based on a Department of Revenue report showed that if the current tax rate was collected without subsidies, credits, deductions, loopholes and special “breaks,” the state would collect an additional $11 billion dollars every biennium. B) Therefore a 10 percent cut would generate $1 billion with which we could start to repay the money the Legislature “borrowed”’ from education funding last session. C) I would further look to a major reform of the property tax system, one of the most complicated and least understood in the nation.
What experiences would you cite that prepare you to represent your district?
As a director of the Big Sandy Lake Association, I am keenly aware of the importance clean rivers and lakes to our lifestyle, recreation and tourism in the Aitkin and Crow Wing area. As a 30-plus year small business owner and former state and local chamber of commerce committee member I am well versed in the issues facing the business community. As a former legislator I authored legislation creating the Department of Transportation and requiring a state transportation plan, and served by appointment of former Gov. Quie to the ‘Highways for Economic Vitality’ Task Force giving me a deep understanding of transportation issues confronting Minnesota.