Minnesota taxes are more equitable now, but only barely

  • Article by: Editorial Board , Star Tribune
  • Updated: July 6, 2013 - 8:48 PM

But fairness alone doesn’t justify tax increases.

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andrew172Jul. 6, 13 3:53 PM

The problem is spending. Government spending drives taxes. Democrats want to spend more and tax people to fund their spending habits. They try to say they are for the little guys, but time and time again, this rhetoric surfaces. The media is dead. They are blind followers of the Democratic party. Remember the rich have options - they can and will take their money with them and when that happens, the middle class or poor will not be able to sustain spending. 1.4% increases as a percentage of income is crazy! Taxing cigarettes will effect the lower middle and middle classes more than the rich. Giving government taxpayer money to fund the Vikings stadium, Mall of America, and Mayo Clinic (e.g., the rich) was enacted by DEMOCRATS, not Republicans. For the record, I am a conservative, neither a Democrat nor a Republican. I vote with my principles and values.

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albundy74Jul. 6, 1311:39 PM

Great editorial- Let's make it more fair. Let's get that business tax that would have socked the Star Tribune directly passed; the same tax they so valiantly campaigned against. I guess what's good for the goose isn't so much for the gander. The hypocrisy of the editorial board is without parallel in the metro media.

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Mark27Jul. 7, 1312:24 AM

The argument that the regressiveness of the cigarette tax can be overcome by not paying it is so disgustingly disingenuous. The same thing could be said about a huge tax levied on milk or bread, and theoretically the disclaimer of "don't like it....don't pay it" would mean the Star Tribune editorial board could absolve themselves from the immorality of such a monstrous blood money grab by Big Brother. Whether bread and milk are necessary to sustain life and cigarettes are not is irrelevant to the establishment of precedent for the argument the editorial board is making here.....especially since we all know they'll be making the same arguments for any number of naughty food items as soon as they believe it's politically palatable to do. Even outside of the immorality of imposing monstrously regressive taxes on society's weakest based on the mindlessly crude "don't like it...don't pay it" argument, the math of the argument is also disingenuous, particularly since the editorial board supports all the spending increases that will be paid for by the tax increases that they pretend they don't want people to pay. We're getting the same fraudulent argument coming from a lot of Dayton apologists in the comments section, even going so far as to brag about the "gimmick-free balanced budget" the DFL just passed even while smugly insisting smokers should quit rather than pay the taxes that are the centerpiece of this "gimmick-free budget". The fact that the Republicans aren't competent to even point out the cynicism of the DFL or the Star Tribune editorial board suggests these monsters just might get away with this.

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comment229Jul. 7, 13 5:02 AM

OK... I'll go along with the cut spending crowd but fear that the cuts will come in areas where it does not affect "you" and instead "me." Yes, we have a spending problem; no doubt about it. So I encourage everyone who argues this to write a list, of spending that is going to be more than a drop in the bucket. May I make a suggestion? Cut the number of state legislators in half.

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comment229Jul. 7, 13 5:04 AM

PS... I am not a republican nor a democrat. I looked back at the top of this article to see who wrote it. "Editorial Board" tells me nothing. Somebody was the actual author of this article and I would like to see a name.

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comment229Jul. 7, 13 5:09 AM

Finally, I find it interesting that that arguments in the article were all about taxes, and then someone started in on the "spending" blathering again. What was not mentioned in this article were the shifts and borrowing from schools that was done by Pawlenty. And when he left office, he left a mess behind worse than a rock band leaves a motel room. All that has to be paid back as well as financing of our infrastructure. The voice of reason says to set priorities in this state, and yet "priorities" to one person, is not a priority to another; and all this, while you are still trying to sell people on the idea of "quality of life" in the state of Minnesota. It is why I live here.

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aonealphaJul. 7, 13 5:29 AM

Let's stop using euphemisms like "investments in education." This is nothing more than more government spending. Most of which goes to more spending on compensation costs for government employees. EVERY public education employee in Minnesota gets a raise EVERY year due to the step and lane compensation system used in public education. Furthermore, there is no correlation between these increased government expenditures and improved educational service to children. So who is fooling whom?

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elmore1Jul. 7, 13 7:00 AM

Fairness should also be based on spending money on existing programs wisely and showing an actual return for taxpayers. The arrogant refusal of Dayton and the majority to look for ways to provide a better return on our existing taxes really makes those of us who are moderates question all of the new programs. Spending 10s of millions to bail out the bloated U while they fail to show any improvement is just one example of this arrogance and fiscal mismanagement. Fair taxation is managing existing and proposed investments wisely and demanding accountability from those spending it regardless of where the tax revenue comes from.

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martytoilJul. 7, 13 7:53 AM

I am so tired of some people complaining about taxes in this state. How many states have lower taxes? Lets say it is 45. We in this country have many freedoms. One of these is the freedom to move to another state. Of those 45 states I am sure that there is at least one that has better weather. But perhaps the reason why people do not move is that there are none that have better opportunity or quality of life. You get what you pay for in life.

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jweb1958Jul. 7, 13 8:19 AM

It's almost impossible for everyone to pay the same percentage of his/her income in taxes because of spending patterns for housing and goods/services subject to sales tax. A homeowner with a $200,000 house and a taxable income of X will pay a higher percentage of his income in property tax than someone with the same income X and a $900,000 house. Higher income people are much more likely to save and invest income beyond their consumption needs than is someone with a taxable income of $40,000, so the percentage of income paid in sales taxes by high earners is lower. Minnesota would have to impose a top income tax rate of at least 15% (probably even much higher) to equalize the taxable income to taxes paid ratio. The result - as anyone outside the left-wing ideological bubble knows - would be that many higher income earners, and especially anyone who is retired and mobile, would leave Minnesota. Taxes collected would actually decline. Even the very left-wing editorial writers for the Strib know this.

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