What do you make of the tax deal reached by Gov. Dayton and legislative leaders?

MPR Video/Tom Scheck

“Governor Dayton and DFL legislative leaders have announced a deal on an overall tax bill that would increase roughly $2 billion in new taxes,” writes MPR News reporter Tom Scheck.

“The plan would create a new fourth tier income tax rate of 9.85 percent on couples with an after-tax income of $250,000 a year. The nonpartisan Tax Foundation says Minnesota would have the fourth highest income tax rate in the nation under the new proposal.

“The plan would also increase cigarette taxes by $1.60 a pack and increase some corporate taxes. The plan scraps proposals to raise alcohol taxes and an income tax surcharge on couples earning more than $500 thousand a year. DFL House Speaker Paul Thissen says House Democrats dropped their push for the income tax surcharge to pay back an $800 million K12 school payment delay.”

Today’s Question: What do you make of the tax deal reached by Gov. Dayton and legislative leaders?

  • James

    I suspect MN is on the path to becoming a “has been” state. Investors, talented people and wealthy retirees have a choice about where to live. Between the weather, the deteriorating infrastructure and high tax rates, MN is losing its appeal for a critical segment of the population. So sad! So short sighted!

  • Gary F

    I guess the Gov Goofy II, AKA Marx Dayton, taxed a heck of a lot more people then just those evil rich people.

    Some people tell smokers its bad for them or it is a filthy habit. I tell them to smokem’ if they got them, because there is a Democrat with a spending addiction that needs a spending fix. I foresee a large black market of ND cigs making their way over the border.

    Don’t expect the private sector to grow any time soon in Minnesota.

    California, here we come.

    • Gordon near Two Harbors

      “California, here we come”?? What a joke. Have you ever been out there? If you don’t like taxes, then California is not your place! It is the capital of tax and regulation–largely due to the sheer number of people living there.

      • GotYourBack

        But nothing at all to do with the number of illegal aliens and the liberal policies in place. You better head to Texas Gary F.

    • reggie

      When are you leaving? I wish you well and hope you’re happy there. Medical marijuana might take the edge off…

  • Chris

    They told us what they were going to do, and now appear ready to follow through. No real surprises, but for the fact that Sunday’s deal seems to have not been sufficient. I wonder if last night’s deal will end the session. Incredible overreach!

    • Steve the Cynic

      No, it’s just undoing the right wing overreach of the Pawlenty years.

  • Bob

    My biggest concern is who will pay for the new Vikings stadium. Until this issue is resolved, I think the intended use of any new tax revenues may instead go toward paying off this debacle called the People’s Stadium. The governor and the legislature must fix this issue before talk of raising more taxes.

  • Gary F

    But remember, the DFL has been waiting so long to have complete power they just couldn’t help themselves. Kinda like some stoned teenagers at Old Country Buffet with dad’s credit card.

    While other states try to become more business competitive, we go backwards in the DFL’s mission for leftist Utopia.

  • j

    It sucks, but at least it doesn’t pretend to cut taxes by using such republican tactics as the school funding shift and “fees aren’t taxes.” We are just paying now to fix all those t-paw years.

    However, the stadium is a travesty. How about a 10% players tax and 25% owners/admin tax to pay for it? They’re the rich bastards that use it … oh right, not many actually live in MN so they can benefit from us without having to contribute themselves.

  • Kathleen

    I smoke. I have for 45+ years. I am not going to quit. I don’t watch football or baseball or any other sport. I DO NOT want to pay for any part of a playpen for a rich man’s toys. If Ziggy wants it so bad, let him pay for it. This state has a whole lot of other much more important places to spend the money.
    I work in long-term care. I just got a raise, the first in four years, all of 1%. Yes, that’s one percent. If we are going to raise taxes, let’s also raise the medicare/medicaid reimbursement rates to something that’s close to actually paying what it does cost to take care of these people.

  • HC Artmann

    I voted against the stadium. I hate to say “I told you so.” Well, actually I love to say it. And also, way to go, legislators. You really scored a touchdown on this one.

  • Jim G

    Undecided. You can tell there are no tobacco plantations in Minnesota.The cigarette tax hits the poor schmoes who can’t kick the habit. Yes, they need to quit. But so do the heavy drinkers in our alcohol paradise. Our local liquor suppliers and distributors won big time.

    On paying for the stadium, I say tax the users of the new stadium, not the people who’ll never see the inside of the place except when they go to see a trade show or monster truck event once every ten years. Does this budget get us out of the bi-annual budget crisis we’ve become accustomed to in Minnesota. That’s to be determined. Right now, I guess you would say I’m underwhelmed by the scope of the budget deal.

  • John

    As a voter, I think it stinks. A cigarette tax is going to make more people smoke for that Stadium, even though we have a statewide smoking ban in all bars, restaurants, and public places. So much for supporting families in Minnesota. Secondly, the idea of having companies paying for the Stadium revenue is completely idiotic and unrealistic. You might as well put up a sign and tell the world “that no business needed apply” in Minnesota. Why would any company do business in Minnesota when the new law states that your corporate taxes is going for a $975 million dollar Stadium building, which is own by some guy out on the East coast owning a sports team?

    Dayton has no idea how to govern and how to come up with a comprehensive tax plan. In this economy, he’s making things worse. I want somebody else do the job for him in the next’s Governor’s election. Just remember, he’s the same guy that only serve one term in the US Senate, and he was named in TIME Magazine as one the “five worst Senators” in Washington DC. So much for leadership at the capitol in Saint Paul.

  • Ashley Wilson

    Everyone in Minnesota utilizes roads, some go see a game, most walk on sidewalks, a lot send kids to public schools, and plenty visit our beautiful state parks. Taxes are what keep all of these things running and it is important that we continue to keep such things running. Low taxes will not build a better society, just a more selfish one.

  • First, I don’t recommend tobacco unless you value a potentially calmer spirit over a potentially longer life.

    Banning tobacco ads, then taxing tobacco smells like “taxation without representation.” “And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?”

    • I wonder how may cigarettes would have to be smoked to equal the smoke produced to construct a stadium, to power a stadium and to power transportation to a stadium by fans and players?
    • I wonder how many cigarettes would have to be smoked to equal the injuries and deaths to construct a stadium, transport fans and players to a stadium and playing football?
    • I wonder how expensive cigarettes must be before cigarettes induce fighting instead of calming? Football already induces fighting.
    • I wonder how many kids fight or become injured by emulating football? I wonder how many schools fund stadiums?
    • I wonder how much wisdom has been produced with a cigarette in hand? I wonder if the founding fathers smoked? I wonder how many hours of responsibilities are shirked by interest in football?
    • I wonder why the liberty to choose smoking over the risk of injury or death is irresponsible while the liberty to play football over the risk of fights, injury or death is applauded?

    I revere freedom too much to just say no to tobacco or football, but we all pay the price for liberty.

  • Frank

    Minnesota won’t be able to build bridges fast enough for all the people moving out of state. I can tell you it, has become very expensive to live 15 miles into Minnesota! I know people in the metro don’t believe residents are leaving for tax reasons. I can assure you they most certainly are. It has become the single best estate/tax planning strategy in border cities. There always will be fallout from tax increases. I just hope the juice will be worth the squeeze.

    • Gordon near Two Harbors

      If the out-migration of people (many of whom are probably not from here anyway) continues, then maybe be can achieve a zero-population growth for the State of Minnesota that will ensure the “good life” for future generations living here. Sprawl and over-population have already wrecked enough states (think California, Michigan, etc.).

  • KTN

    Yeah sure, people are leaving the state because our taxes are high.

    Take for instance, a family, with say a daughter, a junior in high school, active in sports, band, tons of friends, and dad’s taxes are raised by 2%. “family, were moving, this burden has become too much”. too bad about leaving your school, community, other family, I wont be tread upon any longer. Sounds plausible right.

    • Frank

      At what point does it become too much? For some, the previous rates were high. For others, their lifestyle choices, family, jobs, etc. are worth the burden. Now, look at someone who has no kids, owns a couple small businesses and has a spouse who works full time. How much are we going to pile on before those folks before they get fed up? I just think that the legislature had a great opportunity to overhaul our tax system and it failed to do so. Life is all about choices and we each have to make our own based upon our circumstances.

      • KTN

        But, you are only using one metric, taxes. People use lots of criteria when choosing a place to live, taxes included, but to say that is the only metric is not quite right. Maybe it is the only one you use, but for lots of folks, they might really like going to the Twins, or are diehard Gopher fans, or have a cabin. Do you really think leave those things over a couple of thousand of dollars.

        • GotYourBack

          That is the subject of today’s question, and frankly, if there are many other reasons to stay, then that won’t be the only determining factor, but, YES it IS a factor.

  • DK

    Most of the Smokers tax is paid by low income folks, since more low income people smoke versus rich people. This regressive tax must not bother the Democrats because it will encourage people not to smoke. Still having them pay another $1.60 per pack and the drinkers don’t have to pay anything more. Why not do the right thing for the good of the people and ban cigarettes altogether, Oh that’s right, we need the income. Maybe we should have put a new tax on tax for getting married, oh right, we don’t want to hurt those people.

  • Gordon near Two Harbors

    No one likes to pay taxes. But just look at those pathetic places where taxes are low (most southern states). If you like crappy schools, rotten health care, a shorter life expectancy, few parks and public lands–then maybe you should move there.

    Why is it that Minnesota is more prosperous than most states in this country, despite having a relatively high level of taxation? It’s because we have invested in quality education (with some exceptions), health care, infrastructure, and the protection of the natural environment that makes this such a great place to live.

    If low taxes were such a great thing, why aren’t states like Mississippi, Oklahoma, and Alabama swelling with new residents and dominating every other state economically and socially? I have yet to hear any right-winger answer that question.

    • Frank

      I will tell you, I am not a right-winger. In fact, I often vote democrat. With that said, I feel the reason we are as prosperous as we are in Minnesota is because of WHO we are. Have you ever worked beside someone from those states you just listed? Have you been to those states? Work ethic and quality of employees is something we often take for granted. Why do you think people from the northern tier states have a leg up in the job market where ever they may be applying? It is because we are some of the best workers in this country. For that, I am proud. But I can stand beside someone from North Dakota and they can make the same claim.

  • Gary F

    That new factory/distribution center/marketing office/test facility, won’t be built in Minnesota.

    The higher taxes makes it harder for companies to recruit executives to be based in Minnesota.

    Marx Dayton’s “The Peoples Stadium”. Fire up those cigs and blow your money on e-pull tabs you moderate to lower income folks! Gotta pay more Marx’s The People’s Stadium! And, remember folks, that doesn’t get you out of buy scratch off’s too!

  • Dan

    For Gordon of Two Harbors- Comparing Mn to AL of MS is not fair because of topography. Tougher to build a road down hot South versus the plain state of MN. OK spends more on pre K education as a percentage than any other and require a person with a 4 year degree to teach preschool. I think the point about raising taxes has more to do with efficient spending versus just throwing money at something and hope it works.

    • Gordon near Two Harbors

      No way. Roads are more expensive to maintain in the North, due to frost-heaving and salt damage. We do waste a lot of money here, though, because there is no comprehensive zoning that keeps the population from spreading out into exurbia and forcing the taxpayer from building/maintaining thousands of miles of roads that serve fewer people than in urban areas.

  • Gary F

    And, while you are doing your civic duty buying cigarettes, and scratch off lottery, and e-pull tabs, just remember, the DFL gave everyone a 35% raise!

  • Dubious

    Sorry, I just have to go back to last Fall on this one. Did Dayton really represent the will of the people on this one? Did the Legislature? This is so sad and such a dark backdrop to the new plans just coming out. On the tax proposal: can you really build a stadium taxing smokers? Dubious.

  • I think the tax system was fine in 1955 ,it was very progressive, funded fully the needs of our society, and lacked all the gimmicks and regressive taxes of today.
    Any step away from the regressive taxes is a step in the right direction.

  • GotYourBack

    For an amusing look at Gov. Dayton’s reply to whether these new taxes affect any other than the ‘rich’, open up YouTube and copy and paste vxLua5C8f1c into the search bar. Rich words of inspiration:

    “I mean, I can’t say they don’t; I mean, I can’t say they won’t; I mean ah, nobody, I mean, (sigh), ya know, (sigh)…the businesses, I ah, I can’t, ah, ya know, nothin’, repeat what I just said.” ~Mark Dayton

  • M Rosier

    The government is in a pickle because it committed to funding the Vikings stadium on a funding proposal that didn’t work: gambling revenues. There is little to no evidence that stadiums produce the public benefits promised by stadium lobbyists. The biggest corporate loophole to close is the one where the government subsidizes the costs of a stadium that should be paid for by the Vikings owner. As for the tax on cigarettes, such taxes are often justified as an offset of the increased expense to government of the public health costs associated with smoking. When instead of applying the cigarette tax money to the heath and human services budget, it is applied to pay for a football stadium is where the tax is undermined. I don’t smoke and I don’t go to Vikings games, so I am not directly impacted by this proposal. I am however indirectly impacted by the corrosion to public confidence in the political process. The “horse trading” that is sloppy, but sometimes necessary to make laws rarely makes sense to those of us outside of the halls of the Capitol.

  • Lake johns

    Where can people read the actual tax plan vs. reacting to the media and their reports? Or a very detailed summary without the commentary?

  • PB

    Keep raising taxes on the high earners and they will remember in 2014. Beware Democrats…you are overreaching and will answer to the people who pay the taxes. And besides why do you think the wonderful winters and weather we have is an incentive to stay in this high tax state? The net gain when studied in 5 years will be zero but once again the Dumocrats just dont understand economics unless it centers around government and their public sector uniions.

  • scott bunney

    The only thing these leaders seem to know what to do is raise taxes and expand gambling. How about streamlining the permitting process?
    Give a yes, or no, sooner than later.
    N. Dakota should keep poking fun at us.