On a scale of (0)
most disagreement , to (5) neutral, to (10) most agreement, what is
your view on the following:
average response_____ For Minnesota to succeed in economic
development state taxes ought not be out of line with those of its
average response_____ Minnesota should have a jobs
strategy that treats all businesses equitably, not one that provides
tax breaks for some and not others.
average response_____ To improve Minnesota's competitive
position the state corporate income tax should be eliminated.
average response_____ A workable option for replacing lost
revenue would be to broaden the sales tax to include now-exempt
average response_____ Relying on the individual income tax
would be less productive because a large and growing proportion of
Minnesotans are past their income-tax-producing years.
Hoehn Eli (5) (0) (0) (5) (10)
Question 1: This statement is ill-formed in such a way as to elicit a
specific response. It does not address the issue finding equitable,
sustainable revenue sources for the state.
Question 2: Not all businesses are equal. There are businesses we do
not want to encourage.
Question 3: Corporations should pay in degree to the
resources/advantages they enjoy. Putting the tax burden on the middle
class is unacceptable.
Question 4: Putting the tax burden on the middle class is
Question 5: We need to identify other revenue sources. They should be
sustainable in the long-term, and equitable. The middle-class should
not have to be the principalsource of revenue for the state.
Chris Stedman (10) (5)) (0) (10) (5)
David Pundt (10) (10) (10) (3) (8)
I will never
understand why people with a modicum of education and knowledge of the
way the world works still somehow believe that businesses and
corporations don't pass taxes on to their customers or employees
through lower wages and benefits. Where do these people think money
comes from; trees? And these same folks continue to ignore success
stories like South Dakota and Texas and vote for tax increase after
tax increase and somehow believe that business owners will want to
share their expertise and energy and move to Minnesota when the
heavy-lifting is a lot lighter in lots of other places. Bizarre.
Arvonne Fraser (4) (5) (6) (8) (2)
No. 5 is silly--or
disingenuous--because retired people have incomes! Our IRAs, 40lks,
Social Security beyond a certain point, are all taxable. If you did
any pre-retirement planning you have taxable income.
Gary Kriesel (yes)
(yes) (yes) (yes) (yes)
Sales tax + circuit breaker on property tax at age of 70.
Bert Press (10) (5) (0) (10) (0)
Carol Becker (0) (10) (0) (10) (10)
It is completely
irresponsible to have a discussion of tax changes like item 1 or 3
without a complementary increase somewhere else or clear budget cuts.
Randy Shaw (5) (10) (0) (0) (10)
Rick Bishop (5) (10) (0) (5) (10)
Question 3: Since corporations want to be treated as individuals (see
recent Supreme Court action on campaigns and free speech) and since
they yearn to control fiscally, politically, and would scrap unions
and fair competition, they need to pay their fair share without any
Charles Lutz (10) (10) (8) (10) (8)
Clarence Shallbetter (6) (7) (6) (3) (5)
David Dillon (10) (10) (10) (10) (10)
I personally know
people who have chosen to change their state of residence from
Minnesota because of the high income and estate taxes. (Now the state
gets NONE of their money and we are deprived of many of their other
contributions because they make sure to stay away for at least six
months plus one day each year.) We have been repeatedly advised to
move our fast growth internet business out of Minnesota for tax
reasons. If there is one business thatís easy to move, itís an
Donald H. Anderson (8) (10) (9) (5) (2)
workers are better able to afford paying taxes, proportionate to their
income. Retirees would automatically be in a lower category because
their peak earning period is behind them.
John S. Adams (8) (5) (10) (10) (8)
Question 1: The
focus on taxes to the exclusion of what we get for the taxes means a
misplaces emphasis. The more basic questions are: (a) are we getting
the public investments and services that we truly need so that
metro-centered regional economies of
Minnesota become and remain competitive with the rest of the countey
and the rest of the workd? (b) Are we getting all that we are paying
for and not overpaying? (c.f., public pensions; health care
expenditures; etc.) (c) And are we paying full prices today for what
we already get--that is, are we paying full prices today for the
depreciation of the natural and built environments, or are we living
Question 2: We need an appropriate investments strategy and the jobs
will follow. Rhetoric on "jobs, jobs, jobs" sounds too much like
simple make-work efforts.
Question 3: Yes,
eliminate it. The case is clear, not only on its fiscal impacts but
also on its public relations possibilities.
Broadening the sales tax base is long overdue. We live in a
consumer-driven economy and the opponents of the sales tax are stuck
in 1930s-era thinking.
Relying too much on income taxes--yes. On the other hand, it's
pretty easy to
avoid much of the state income tax--as well as the federal income
tax. So it's important to go slow on this one.
Jerry Fruin (9) (10) (10) (10) (8)
JoeMansky (10) (10) (10) (10) (10)
noted by this and other speakers, Minnesota needs to find different
and more useful ways to generate the revenue needed to operate state
and local government.
David Broden (7) (10) (7) (10) (8)
While taxes being out of line are the
visible and sometimes driving force and may have become more a
priority for business in recent years the other measures of doing
business are perhaps for most companies equal or more important. Those
are : quality and capability of workforce and work ethic; attitude
about the role of business in a community and to the economy--negative
comments about business constantly does more damage than high taxes;
access to health care and quality; arts and related, environment etc.
Bottom line we cannot let the tax issue overwhelm the need to have a
positive attitude when addressing business whether those currently
here or those who may be start up or looking to move here.
Having said that a common base for all
business is the goal we must be open to working special arrangements
if that is a good decision. Mn did that with taconite and with several
companies that in the long run have been pluses for Mn. The concept
that worked for the taconite amendment and industry could work again
and should not be ignored for any reason.
I would agree that the corporate tax should
be eliminated thus a 10--I will however strong suggest that this alone
will not address the real problems related to other costs of
business--other business and labor taxes/fees; attitudes of some in
both government and the community, etc. We need to re-establish a
attitude that says that MN not only welcomes all to the state but we
have a positive approach and we will work with all to bring them and
support them. This must start with a stronger DEED's and a strong
link with other businesses, unions, non union workforce, education
This will ensure that the tax burden is
understood by all and brings a stable revenue source. Broadening the
base and raising revenue.
The way this question is stated is part of
the problem. The term a growing number of Mn are past their income tax
producing years must change-- as a redesign focus we need to change
the society view of when people retire. The Social security etc. was
not set up to sustain people for long period of time. People retire
early and we lose income --we need these people who are and can be
productive to be in the workforce--not just volunteers--this will take
a change in tax policy, change in business and industry, change in
people attitude etc. If we keep even 50% of the workface engaged for
5-10 additional years we will have much more revenue. This needs to be
a major focus that all groups talk around. This is a major source
of revenue and reduction of expenditure if we can keep people working.
We need a champion for this focus.
Gene Franchett (0) (8) (0) (0) (0)
Barbara Robertson (10) (9) (0) (4) (5)
All I know is that
my property taxes are out of sight in Cass County where I get no
services. Property can't continue to pay but I don't know how to get
business to pay their fair share without running them out of the
state. I think we give too many free services in Minnesota. We never
used to have all of the services for people that we seem to have now.
Dennis L. Johnson (8) (8) (10) (0) (5)
It appears that Mark Haveman is in favor of an "Opportunity" State on
the issue of Business taxes, but still feels there is nothing wrong
with being a "Nanny" state on the expenditures side. If nurturing
business by cutting business taxes is a good idea, then the resulting
jobs added should in time more than make up for any revenue lost by
producing more income and sales tax revenue without an increase in tax
rates to individuals. State expenses should also be cut to avoid
having to raise taxes for anyone.
Wayne Jennings (8) (5) (5) (5) (5)
Hard to respond to
this issue without hearing other sides, if there are countervailing
Quie (8) (10) (10) (10) (10)
Haveman makes so much sense that any citizen should be able to
Ann Berget (8) (_) (_) (_) (_)
is hard to respond to these questions by rating each question in
isolation. MN certainly needs to improve its competitive position in
retaining/ attracting business in the state, but some trade-offs are
not desirable, i.e. expanding sales tax to include clothing, maybe
food, sometimes even medicine, is very regressive. Personally, where
incentives are concerned, I'd like to see MN actually produce more
useful goods: vehicles at the Ford plant, tennis shoes, building
supplies, clothing, furniture, etc. There are many chronically
unemployed people in MN. High tech probably won't get them into a job.
I'd like to see a coordinated focus on fuller employment, but not just
at the high tech upper end of the wage scale. Some of it is not
glamorous, but it makes for healthier communities. BTW, where does MN
stand in % of adults 18-65 who are fully employed?
Bill Hamm (10) (9) (8) (0) (3)
Economics 101 duh. I don't think this discussion comes anywhere near
solving this problem.
Problem is the legislative majority likes to stack the deck for its
union members companies or public employers.
Question 3: Yes I
support this direction but it all comes down to replacing it with
Question 4: . No,
you are right back to pushing to increase our most regressive form of
taxation and burn the working class again. Let's begin to look at an
honest flat Income tax and eliminating all but child and investment
Question 5: I am
not at all certain this statement is correct since there has yet to be
a discussion of making the income tax system fair; seems to be a taboo
The sales tax was
promised to be a temporary tax to get us through a rough time, the
word temporary was quickly forgotten. Instead it has become the go to
of choice every time we overextend our state budget. Middle class
progressives are just as bad at screwing us in the bottom 62% with
this garbage as the rich have ever been. Again no real solution
offered just an old tried and true temporary fix.
Carolyn Ring (10) (10) (8) (8) (9)
options for 3 and 4 should be developed to assess the best possible
solution or combination of solutions. As we think of the many major
companies that have left MN and others that have been bought by
foreign investors it is critical we take steps to improve our ability
Ray Cox (10) (10) (10) (10) (10)
continue to struggle with budgets if it keeps such reliance on
personal income taxes. We need to expand the sales tax base, or look
at a VAT, to help deal with our changing demographics.
Peter Hennessey (10) (10) (10) (10) (10)
The only moral and
morally defensible form of taxation is the sales tax. This is as
fundamental as natural law -- the creatures on this Earth consume when
the harvest is good and game is plentiful. Similarly, a manufacturer
has earnings, and therefore can actually pay his bills, workers and
suppliers, if and only if his products sell. A salesman earns a
commission only if he makes a sale. A contractor, doctor, lawyer,
etc., earn an income only if their services are desired enough by
somebody to pay for them. It is only the government that insist on
being paid (actually, in amounts increasing each year) regardless of
economic conditions or ability to pay, even in the face of decreasing
amounts of "services" the government "provides" in return. (Never mind
that the government has no business providing any "services" to begin
with.) With a sales tax the consumer is in control; he can choose to
buy something or not, and he can adjust the size and timing of his
purchase according to his ability to afford it. Therefore he pays a
tax only when he has the money pay it. Nobody will hold a gun to his
head if he chooses not to buy anything, but they will if he won't pay
his income or property tax. All forms of taxation, other than the
sales tax, is extortion, not a tax that free men pay to support a
government that actually protects, not threatens, their freedoms.
Question 1: At
the very least, "competitive" means you are no worse than your
competition. The details might vary but the total package cost better
be no worse than in other States.
According to our Declaration of Independence, we have the god-given
right to pursue our own happiness. Under the US Constitution we are
supposed to have equal treatment under the law. The government can't
favor some and hinder others. In addition, the government has no
business having any "job strategy" except to make sure that
the government's policies (taxes and regulations) are
not discriminatory, burdensome, unjust or punitive. The power of
the government is inherently inhibitive; the only way it can encourage
enterprise and growth is to stay the hell out of the way of those who
seek to better themselves and their community through productive work,
whether as inventors, entrepreneurs or just plain employees.
Question 3: YES
the corporate income tax must be eliminated. When the hell will people
realize that NO business EVER pays any taxes? An enterprise can remain
in business only if they make a profit or at worst break even; they
MUST have enough revenue to at least meet all their expenses, from
whatever source, including taxes. The only way they can do that is by
passing all costs -- raw materials, machinery, payroll, rents and
leases, research and development, marketing and sales, overhead, taxes
-- on to their customers. Only the end customer, the last one to buy
and actually consume, pays any taxes -- and he pays all the taxes for
all the suppliers, middlemen and retailers who came before him in the
"food chain." Therefore it makes absolutely no sense to have any tax
on businesses; all it does is increase the accounting and legal costs
without providing any benefit other than a political illusion with
which dishonest politicians seek to dazzle the ignorant masses. Under
the current system the employees of a business pay plenty enough
in income taxes already. If MN should also junk the individual income
tax, the same employees acting as consumers will still pay plenty
enough in sales taxes.
Question 4: Try
not to play too much politics with the range of items subject to sales
tax. I can just hear some stupid tax-and-spend do-gooder demagoging
the issue by proclaiming that some heartless conservative is proposing
to tax baby food. Try not to plead that the sales tax is regressive;
the poor spend less and therefore pay little, the rich spend a lot and
therefore pay large amounts in sales tax.
And forget the
argument that the sales tax cannot possibly generate enough revenue
for the government; the government must never get so big that it could
not meet its obligations from a modest, non-punitive level of
taxation. Who will be left to pay any taxes when the government gets
so big that everyone is on the government payroll as employee or
welfare client? What will we do when 100% of the government's revenue
must go to pay the interest on the public debt?
Question 5: Holy
cow. Perfect ten. Keep it up. Maybe there is hope for you yet.
With a sales tax,
the age issue cited in this question goes away. People spend not
because of their income level or age, but because of their needs and
desires. Actually studies show that retirees are more likely to spend
on discretionary items which are much more likely to be subject to
sales tax than the spending on bare necessities more typical of
The income tax,
whether graduated or flat, is nothing but the communist credo in
action (from each according to his ability). Sorry, that only turns
the productive members of society into slaves -- slaves not to the
unfortunate as it is claimed, but to anyone who happens to have the
government's favor at the moment (AIG, GM, unions, banks "too big to
fail," cronies on Wall Street, etc.). The graduated income tax, rooted
deeply in progressive political theory, is a disincentive to making
the effort and being productive; it punishes success. It is immoral at
its roots and therefore must be eliminated at all levels of
Mike Hanson (5) (6) (7) (8) (5)
Paul Hauge (5) (8) (2) (8) (3)
Tim Gabrielson (10) (10) (3) (0) (0)
Our businesses and
corporations need to be on a level balance with other States. We would
have more young people if we had good paying manufacturing jobs in
Greater Mn. We need to reinstate tariffs from overseas companies whose
labor costs are little. Americans would gladly do these jobs for a
living wage! We need to compete with other states and countries if we
are going to survive in our state. We also need to change our Dept of
Human Services. This has been totally out of control for years. We
give out way too many benefits and services! People know this and
swarm to Mn from other states and countries to live off of us. We need
to start enforcing the immigrations laws of this country and with no
giveaways. They learn our language and become productive citizens or
go back to their country. We need to take control of our great country
again and this means our Congress has to clean up their way of doing
business. This means they need to represent us and our best interests
and not those of large companies or the rich!
Marvin Ott (10) (10) (6) (7) (7)
Barbara Grove (10) (10) (5) (5) (10)
Robert A. Freeman (10) (7) (10) (8) (7)
Question 2: To
some extent. Iím fine with having a tax policy that treats tobacco,
alcohol and junk food as less worthy than milk and vegetables, since
they wreak much heavier health costs on society.
Follow the example of Ireland in the 90s, which went from a farm
economy to a booming hub of service and tech companies literally
Question 4: The
tax system should reflect the reality of the 21st century
economy. That should include services and even though it is
Question 5: To
some extent. The income tax will still constitute a major part of our
budget and very rich people will still be able to afford to pay a
greater chunk of their income than poor people.
It is vital we
overhaul our stateís tax system in the very near future if we want to
continue to provide the services that government provides now such as
a strong education system, a public safety net, and basic
infrastructure like roads, bridges and public safety.
Ray Ayotte (8) (8) (5) (7) (5)
Dennis Fink (5) (9) (4) (6) (2)
Lyall Schwarzkopf (9) (10) (9) (7) (5)
If the corporate
income tax is eliminated, somehow, corporations should lower the cost
of their products so that they do not turn the savings into more
income for the corporation. I wonder if the group discussed that?
Kevin Edberg (8) (8) (8) (8) (10)
Elimination of various taxes should be paired with wise use of various
circuit breakers to protect low-income individuals.
Dane Smith (5) (5) (1) (8) (5)
Mark and the MTA
do outstanding work and have been a great asset for Minnesota for
three-quarters of a century. We disagree at Growth & Justice with
some of the specifics of the MTAís positions but respect the quality
and integrity of the research. The most important disagreement has to
do with elimination of the corporate income tax. We think some
reduction would be wise as part of a thorough overhaul, but
elimination would put too much pressure on other taxes and severely
strained public investments.
(8)(7) (7) (9) (8)
do need to broaden our tax base even if we reduce or eliminate the
corporate tax. I found it interesting that the corporate tax was not
a larger percentage of the revenue.
Scott Halstead (10) (10) (5) (10) (10)
enter retirement they also become lower consumers of goods and some
services so the sales tax may not result in as much revenue or could
place lower income individuals in financial distress
Jim Keller (10) (10) (10) (10) (10)
Ideally we could
have a Fed Vat upon which the states could piggy-back, replacing the
state and fed income tax. This has the attributes of reducing the tax
load, by substantially reducing administrative cost; additionally it
picks up tax on the underground economy which has become a substantial
piece of our economy!
Terry Stone (10) (10) (10) (0) (8)
Removing taxation disparity in business sectors keeps the Minnesota
Legislature and their special interest co-pilots out of the social
planning business. Jobs marketed as green seem irresistible to
the politically correct Legislature. This includes jobs in a range of
industries with incentives underpinned by global warming constructs.
Question 4: As
part of revenue neutral tax policy thriving within a political vacuum,
the idea of broadening the sales tax base and eliminating corporate
tax is hard to argue with. In the real world of the current biennial
budget exigency, the sustainability of spending and service delivery
trumps the style of revenue collection.
The revenue that
is lost by eradicating corporate tax is recovered automatically in the
increased revenue from larger income tax and sales tax bases--not from
broadening the sales tax. The increased business activity from the
elimination of corporate tax will increase revenues from all
thirty-six of Minnesotaís taxes.
A lean efficient
tax policy must accompany a lean efficient government. Regardless of
who pays the taxes, the ultimate goal needs to be less tax paid to
restore Minnesotaís culture of self-reliance and productivity.
Rodney Bounds (6) (7) (8) (6) (8)