Live-blogging Midmorning: Taxes

Now that we’ve heard from lawmakers for the past five months, it’s your turn. On Midmorning , Kerri Miller is discussing taxes with Sen. Julianne Ortman, R-Chanhasen, and Rep. Diane Loeffler.

News Cut is live blogging and awaiting your comments.

  • Ralph W.

    Palin/Pawlenty in 2012. His move over the weekend, culminated yesterday, is to position him for higher office. Maybe Pawlenty/Palin or Pawlenty/??

    He has a generic Pawlenty campaign site on the web now, no “for governor” language.

    I just regret the damage his nationally aimed move will do locally. My property taxes will go up even faster, the U will have to raise tuition at least 7% (possibly double digit). Though that is not for sure – they may be hamstrung by a 3% increase that was in the budget. But that 3% cap was premised on the state coming through. The U could really get trapped.

    Great job, T-paw!

  • Bob Moffitt

    Many of us are smart enough to know that taxes — like death — are unavoidable.

    I don’t like paying them anymore than the next guy, but I understand that state cuts to municipal and county government usually means more property taxes, along with reduced local services. I have seen it before, and now, I’ll see it again.

    I also believe that we get the government we deserve. We have the power to throw the bums out, and to elect a new group of bums.

    We’ll see what the fallout from this year will be during next year’s elections.

  • Bob Collins

    But the discussiion surrounding this presumes we *haven’t* been taxed. WE have been. Our property taxes go up just by increased property values (despite the bad economy, the values are still higher). We passed a statewide gas tax increase, we passed a metro sales tax increase. We’ve got wheelage fees in many counties. We’ve got “tech surcharges.”

    So Minnesotans have been paying more despite the assertion that “taxes” haven’t gone up.

    At the same time, especially for people in my generation, our retirements have been wiped out. There’s no chance and no time to recover the huge losses in our savings for our retirements.

    And yet, people who don’t want to pay any more are made to feel as though they’re selfish.

    The problem is many of the people who are in this predicament, also support efforts to raise others up and recognize the need to better education.

    We can put more money into higher ed, for instance, and we’re still going to write checks for 5-10 percent more for tuition this year.

    It’s a difficult situation that’s not black and white, unlike the apparent assertions of those who are intiimately involved in the debate.

  • Al

    “Our property taxes go up just by increased property values (despite the bad economy, the values are still higher).”

    Ours didn’t. Our taxable market value went down by $25K. If yours went up or stayed the same you need to collect data on comparable sales in your neighborhood and challenge your valuation.

  • Chad

    Maybe you’re not being taxed fairly then, Bob. Those charges, etc affect some more than others and I think the system should be more progressive/democratic/equal than that. I don’t think everyone who thinks their taxes should go down is selfish– some people pay way more than their fair share.

    Some people are forced to pay almost 40% of their income in taxes– criminal. Some people pay only 9%, though– I think that’s criminal too.

  • Al

    “And yet, people who don’t want to pay any more are made to feel as though they’re selfish.”

    If we’re talking about couples taking home more than a half million dollars a year complaining about paying a few extra thousand dollars feeling selfish, as they say, if the shoe fits…

  • Bob Collins

    Tom Bakk offered a 5% across-the-board income tax surcharge on Sunday, Al.

    There was also an increase in tax on alcohol.

    And Al, it’s disingenuous to say your property values haven’t gone up, just because they went down in the last assessment. Clearly those values are much higher than they were a few years ago.

  • Al

    I hadn’t heard about Bakk’s Sunday proposal and I’m not in favor of it. The proposal we have heard about for the past few months was an increase on the highest earners.

    As for being disingenuous about tax valuations, I’m not sure about the historical increase on the current house. We moved less than 2 yrs ago. As for the previous house, yes the taxable market value did go up by the maximum allowed amount every year except the last one we were living there. Of course when we sold we made $35K and the previous owner made more than that in about 5 years, so clearly the taxable market value should have gone up. That’s the whole reason for the fluctuating valuation. And my point remains valid, if you think your property value has dropped and your tax valuation hasn’t then challenge it. There are established procedures for this.

  • JB

    My big issue is with unallotment. It just seems like such an underhanded scheme. But more than that, when used in the manner it recently has been, it gives the governor the power to essentially say “If you don’t do things the way I want, I’ll just do them myself.”

    I understand that Pawlenty promised not to raise taxes, but there comes a point where it’s in the best interest of the state to be pragmatic about the issue rather than keeping an iron grip on your ideology. I don’t think the budget should be balanced solely on raising taxes, nor solely on massive cuts. But I do think that strong willed ideological stances are the worst starting points for compromise efforts. And unfortunately what I saw in this legislative session seems to have been further confirmation of that.

  • JB

    One more thought..It’s my understanding that line item vetos were declared unconstitutional on the federal level based on the fact that they change the language of the bill so that technically it wasn’t agreed upon by both the house and senate as required by the constitution. Therefore the president needs to veto the entire bill or sign it as is.

    So, why is it that they are used on the state level? Is there something different about the language in the MN state constitution that allows for them? Do you know anything about this, Bob?

    I’m just curious.

  • Bob Collins

    JB, you’re right. Under the complaint of then NYC Mayor Guiliani, the line-item veto for the president was struck down.

    The U.S. Constitution, however, describes the functions and power of the federal government. It does not apply — at least in this sense — to the powers the legislative process grants governors and legislatures. Examining that is the job of the Minnesota Supreme Court.

    In that case, the president’s line item veto was ruled in violation of the U.S. Constitution’s “presentment clause.”

    Every Bill which shall have passed the House of Representatives and the Senate, shall, before it become a Law, be presented to the President of the United States: If he approve he shall sign it, but if not he shall return it, with his Objections to that House in which it shall have originated, who shall enter the Objections at large on their Journal, and proceed to reconsider it. If after such Reconsideration two thirds of that House shall agree to pass the Bill, it shall be sent, together with the Objections, to the other House, by which it shall likewise be reconsidered, and if approved by two thirds of that House, it shall become a Law. But in all such Cases the Votes of both Houses shall be determined by yeas and Nays, and the Names of the Persons voting for and against the Bill shall be entered on the Journal of each House respectively. If any Bill shall not be returned by the President within ten Days (Sundays excepted) after it shall have been presented to him, the Same shall be a Law, in like Manner as if he had signed it, unless the Congress by their Adjournment prevent its Return, in which Case it shall not be a Law.

    Every Order, Resolution, or Vote to which the Concurrence of the Senate and House of Representatives may be necessary (except on a question of Adjournment) shall be presented to the President of the United States; and before the Same shall take Effect, shall be approved by him, or being disapproved by him, shall be repassed by two thirds of the Senate and House of Representatives, according to the Rules and Limitations prescribed in the Case of a Bill.

    As you can probably see, the clause pertains exclusively to Congress and the Executive Branch, not to states.

    The Minnesota Constitution has no such clause, and , in fact, is pretty clear that he can do what he’s done.

    APPROVAL OF BILLS BY GOVERNOR; ACTION ON VETO. Every bill passed in conformity to the rules of each house and the joint rules of the two houses shall be presented to the governor. If he approves a bill, he shall sign it, deposit it in the office of the secretary of state and notify the house in which it originated of that fact. If he vetoes a bill, he shall return it with his objections to the house in which it originated. His objections shall be entered in the journal. If, after reconsideration, two-thirds of that house agree to pass the bill, it shall be sent, together with the governor’s objections, to the other house, which shall likewise reconsider it. If approved by two-thirds of that house it becomes a law and shall be deposited in the office of the secretary of state. In such cases the votes of both houses shall be determined by yeas and nays, and the names of the persons voting for or against the bill shall be entered in the journal of each house. Any bill not returned by the governor within three days (Sundays excepted) after it is presented to him becomes a law as if he had signed it, unless the legislature by adjournment within that time prevents its return. Any bill passed during the last three days of a session may be presented to the governor during the three days following the day of final adjournment and becomes law if the governor signs and deposits it in the office of the secretary of state within 14 days after the adjournment of the legislature. Any bill passed during the last three days of the session which is not signed and deposited within 14 days after adjournment does not become a law.

    If a bill presented to the governor contains several items of appropriation of money, he may veto one or more of the items while approving the bill. At the time he signs the bill the governor shall append to it a statement of the items he vetoes and the vetoed items shall not take effect. If the legislature is in session, he shall transmit to the house in which the bill originated a copy of the statement, and the items vetoed shall be separately reconsidered. If on reconsideration any item is approved by two-thirds of the members elected to each house, it is a part of the law notwithstanding the objections of the governor.

  • Greg S

    When Minneapolis folds its Civil Rights Department into the redundant function across the street at the County, when its school board actually closes a school and cuts its $18,400 per student spending spree – then come talk to me about taxes.