Today is Tax Day and we feel like we should be throwing a Christmas celebration for the richest Minnesotans because they continue to pay a lower percentage of their income back to the state than the middle-class. In Minnesota, the middle-class pays 10.3% of their income in state and local taxes, as opposed to the wealthiest Minnesotans, who pay just 7.7% of their income in taxes.
As the middle-class in Minnesota continues to struggle, the richest Minnesotans are not paying their fair share. They are getting large tax breaks from Republicans. Governor Dayton is asking the wealthiest Minnesotans who have done best in a tough economy to simply pay the same share of their income in taxes as everyone else.
On a day when the middle-class has a difficult reminder of how tough times are right now, it is important to remember that there are those in the state who are not being asked to share in that sacrifice. Because of this, today is like Christmas for the rich and corporations.
Asking the wealthiest Minnesotans to pay their fair share would go a long way towards a fair and balanced solution to our state’s budget problem. Our state economist Tom Stinson has said that a budget that includes new tax revenue would be better for our economy than one that relies solely on cuts.
The GOP majorities in the legislature have failed to produce a balanced budget. Their best effort featured dramatic cuts to transit services, health care programs and schools that Minnesotans need and rely upon. In spite of these dramatic cuts that would negatively impact our state’s quality of life, their budget is still at least one billion dollars short of closing our budget deficit.