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Another day, another missed Minnesota legislative deadline

Gov. Dayton pulls out all the stops - to raise taxes on us

Now that Gov. Mark Dayton has fellow Democrats controlling both houses of the Minnesota Legislature, he’s getting serious about the state’s $1.1 billion deficit. He’s going to raise taxes.

He wants to raise taxes on the rich. Our governor wants to raise $2.1 billion of new revenue to spend on education and job creation. Minnesota already spends a whopping amount to educate our children. Overall, Minnesota spends more than the national average by $70 per pupil — $10,685 a year. When federal, state and local funding sources are combined, Minnesota public schools spend more than $10 billion annually. That’s huge! But, the former school teacher turned governor, wants to spend another $600,000 in education funding. If his measures pass the DFL-controlled Legislature, the state will be spending $14.45 billion in 2012-13 and $15.6 in 2014-15. That’s an 8.1 percent increase. Lump in another 9.6 percent more for higher education and the state’s taxpayers will be asked to fork out another 17.7 percent of their income to support our educational system.

Since 2004, our state’s general fund budget has grown from $28.1 billion to $37.9 billion in 2015, if Dayton’s budget is approved by the state houses.

I don’t know about the rest of you, but my income certainly has risen by that much over that span of time.

But first things first. He wants to tax clothing. Yup, he wants to tax the lower middle income earners, upper middle income earners and anyone that brings a paycheck home to clothe, shelter and feed one’s family.

Oh, did I mention he wants to lower the sales tax rate from 6.875 percent to 5.5 percent? He has to make it look good, so we’re now going to be paying less sales tax on things, but he’s got it in his mind to tax anything we consume.

Minnesotans would not be taxed for food (groceries, not food purchases in restaurants) or medical services.

Gov. Dayton’s leaving the medical taxes up to the president who wants to tax medical devices.(Minnesota leads the nation in producing medical devices.)

The governor did suggest that the Legislature not tax clothing purchases under $100. (That could generate a whole new line of clothing stores — “Clothes R Us — all of our clothes are $99 or less.” Some entrepreneur will catch on to that idea. (I’d like a cut of your profits for suggesting the idea.)

Gov. Dayton also plans to raise taxes on those filthy cigarettes to $2.17 per pack.

Bottom line? Expect to pay more taxes, even those of us who are not super rich.

Keith Hansen

Denton (Denny) Newman Jr.
I've worked at the Brainerd Dispatch with various duties since Dec. 7, 1983. Starting off as an Ad Designer and currently Director of Audience Development. The Dispatch has been an interesting and challenging place to work. I'm fortunate to have made many friends, both co-workers and customers.
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