Our legislators are in St. Paul trying to undo some of the mistakes they made during the last session. Even Gov. Dayton now admits the avalanche of new taxes he and our local Reps. Joe Radinovich and John Ward imposed on hard-working Minnesotans may not have been necessary.
Today the question is what to do with the excess revenue generated by the new taxes created in 2013? This week the state will issue an updated budget forecast. If the projected excess revenues hold up, something should be done to mitigate the huge tax increases of last year.
Federal income tax conformity is a good start. Last session our DFL legislators quietly disconnected Minnesota income tax policy from tax breaks that the U.S. Congress added to the federal tax code. Here are a few of the things that they taxed that the federal government gave Minnesotans a break on:
Employer-paid tuition for college, employer-paid adoption benefits, child care, student loan interest, mortgage insurance premiums and teacher classroom expenses. Add to those anti-family, anti-education taxes, the Minnesota marriage penalty, which negatively impacts about 650,000 married couples in Minnesota.
So much for the DFL party being supportive of Minnesota’s working families, teachers and education in general.
Last year while the DFL legislators in St. Paul were trumpeting big income tax increases on only Minnesota’s wealthiest citizens and new business-to-business sales taxes, they were also quietly picking the pockets of all Minnesotans, rich and poor alike. They have a choice — they can spend the excess tax revenues or they can take this opportunity to fix at least some of the mistakes they made during the last legislative session.
(Dale Lueck, Republican, has announced he will run for the District 10B House seat held by Rep. Joe Radinovich, DFL-Crosby.)