A Minnesota Democrat who serves on an influential House taxes committee and once bragged about offering his employees “unlimited paid vacation and sick time” filed for bankruptcy this year.
Rep. Andy Smith, a first-term legislator from Rochester, filed for chapter 7 bankruptcy on Feb. 28, according to court filings. Smith’s bankruptcy petition states that he has $50,643 in assets and $204,738 in liabilities.
Smith is the sole owner of Gray Duck Entertainment, a movie theater in Rochester that shut down earlier this year. He also co-owns a local bookstore.
“Garden Party Books is still open and going strong, however it is true that Gray Duck Theater has closed, which has been a painful experience for me and our movie community. This closure had nothing to do with our employment policies, but was a reflection of an industry-wide downward trend in the entertainment industry,” Smith previously told Alpha News in a statement.
Smith claimed during a Feb. 16 House floor debate that he offers employees at “both” of his businesses “unlimited paid vacation and sick time.” At that point, one of his businesses was already closed.
While asking for his own debts to be absolved, Smith has been advocating for new tax increases on Minnesotans.
“We want to fund programs … we’ve told all these people this. They understand it costs money and they voted us into office,” Smith said this month during a discussion on a bill that would create a fifth income tax tier.
“So I think we’re being true to who we are, who Minnesota is, in having these kinds of bills,” he explained.
House Democrats unveiled their tax bill on Monday, which includes scaled back versions of rebate checks and a Social Security tax exemption. Republicans said in a press release that the DFL is proposing nearly $10 billion in tax hikes across six different bills this session.
Smith advocated against a full repeal of the Social Security tax in a commentary published this week.
He did not respond to a request for comment.