Tax reform in Minnesota? Some other year, perhaps

  • Article by: LORI STURDEVANT , Star Tribune
  • Updated: May 18, 2013 - 4:06 PM

A look at the forces that gathered against an idea that seemed like its time had come.

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elmore1May. 18, 13 6:36 PM

Good perspective Lori. Tax reform needs bipartisan support and most importantly a compelling reason to add more taxes or how to better get existing taxes. Mark's approach was to tax the evil rich and spend more money on questionable "investments". Seeing the bonding bill stall shows that Mark and the extreme DFL agenda backfired and we missed an opportunity to do the right kind of things for the state. Taxing smokers and the rich to fund the DFL agenda isn't real creative eh?

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pumiceMay. 18, 13 7:01 PM

I've got a small quibble regarding your assertion that governors get their way, Ms. Sturdevant. You wrote, "Dayton proposed to raise income taxes on the top 2 percent.... Dayton proposed to reduce the corporate tax rate from fourth-highest to 12th-highest in the country.... Dayton proposed to apply the sales tax to clothing and services, both business and personal, and reduce the tax’s overall rate." How can dropping his entire sales tax reform proposing and dropping his plan to reform the corporate tax rate--two-thirds of Dayton's agenda--be considered getting his way?

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sammy5542612May. 18, 13 7:22 PM

Lori Sturdevant has advocated for higher taxes on the rich almost her whole career. Today is the time. We are the ones we have been waiting for!

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palsarMay. 18, 13 8:04 PM

I love the term "tax reform" when all it means to the DFL is how to tax more and more. To them, "balanced approach" means increase taxes everywhere.

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marcymmbMay. 19, 13 6:06 AM

Just remember the cigarette tax and the business to business tax is not revenue for the state it has now been moved to fund the stadium. Way to go governor.

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twspt7May. 19, 13 7:11 AM

"A KSTP/Survey USA poll conducted April 19-21 turned out to be a good predictor of the choices that were ahead. Poll respondents turned thumbs up (69 percent support) on a high-income surcharge and thumbs down on expansion of the sales tax to clothing (74 percent oppose) and services such as haircuts (57 percent oppose). It’s probably also telling that the same poll said 51 percent of respondents were ready for a change in marriage laws" So our lawmakers basically did what the people wanted - at least, according to one poll - and everyone from Lori Sturdevant to Jason Lewis is disappointed with this year's tax bill? Further, one has to thank the political and religious right for the recent passage of the Marriage Bill here in Minnesota. Without their cynical attempted end run around the legislative process in the form of the Marriage Amendment, and the attendant political furor it aroused, there is absolutely no way we'd have such legislation in place at this time.

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cambec0523May. 19, 13 8:19 AM

In today’s economy, the rich get richer while everybody else mostly muddles along. Everyone who has something put away gets richer...it is exponential, which unfortunely isn't the way socialists like it. Itis common sense that if you have $10,000 saved, it will make you more than $1,000. And lets be clear...at what income is muddling along? My wife and i make under 100K together and we are doing very well. It is about choices on life quality and spending. Problem is too many don't make good choices and politicians have figured out that if you promise to make their life better, you get their vote. There is doing the right thing for a select group of people and then their is doing the right thing for the country and its future. Entitlement and subsidizing one group of people at the expense of another is not what this country was founding on. Tax reform would be a flat tax, no loopholes. Just think of how much the tax payer woudl save if we didn't have 11,000 pages of tax code and tens of thousands enforcing it. Talk about a pathetically messied up system and viscous circle of excessive costs to the tax payer...meaning those who actually pay income tax.

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peggybundyMay. 19, 1312:08 PM

How does increasing taxation on the "evil rich" in our state, so that they finally get fed up enough to leave make sense? Isn't a moderate tax rate on people who are already taxed vastly beyond everyone else rather than an even heftier rate on nothing (because they've moved to a tax friendlier state) make more sense? And - why do we almost never hear anything about cutting spending? Workers in the private sector lose jobs, take enormous pay cuts, etc. - while the public sector focuses on their extensive benefits, pay raises, and the like. If our state could become more business friendly, have moderate taxation and cut spending, then perhaps we'd find more people moving here and creating businesses and more jobs. Just a thought.

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rms316May. 19, 1312:23 PM

Nice article. There are usually 2 ways to cut costs... just cut Spending or Change the Structure of the System. One party taxes and spends to death, the other cuts, then deficit spends. Somebody, somewhere, has to step forward and offer real, well thought out tax reform not just partisan cutting.

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bernice3May. 19, 13 3:10 PM

cambec0523: People aren't ending up so poor that they need public assistance in order to remain housed and feed their children. It is NOT that they have "made bad choices." It is much more likely that they (by the millions) are unemployed because their employers closed their companies here and moved their jobs to where people will work for 50 cents a day. It is also much more likely that, having bought a home while they were employed, they have lost that home to foreclosure. It's not "bad choices;" it's "bad things happen to good people."

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