Readers have been asked to rate, on a scale of (0) most disagreement,
to (5) neutral, to (10) most agreement, the following points discussed
Average response ratings shown below are
simply the mean of all readers’ zero-to-ten responses to the ideas
proposed and should not be considered an accurate reflection of a
scientifically structured poll.
(6.7 average response) Minnesota
should broaden the list of purchases that are subject to the state
(5.9 average response)
As coverage is broadened, the state sales tax rate should be reduced.
Local government aids
(6.0 average response)
Local government aids should be phased out and local governments given
more local authority to finance local services directly.
(5.8 average response)
Minnesota's corporate income tax should be replaced by a business
activities tax that applies to both state and non-state
Local government aids
Ken Smart (7.5) (10) (10) (7.5)
1. Broaden base. Given revenue needs,
it makes sense to broaden the sales tax as much as possible to most
fairly distribute the burden.
2. Reduce rate. The goal here should
be fairness and not an overall increase in revenues to government
3. Local government aids. LGA is more
of a mechanism for social engineering and doling out political favors
than it is for good public policy. LGA is abused in this state.
4. Corporate tax. Again - this more
fairly distributes the tax burden and levels the competitive playing
Dave Broden (10) (7.5) (2.5) (5)
1. Broaden base. Sales tax is the only
way to expand the tax base and establish a stable income flow for the
2. Reduce rate. This is not obvious
but is a reasonable goal to balance the impact on people of various
income levels, etc.
3. Local government aids. The concept
of LGA has been a positive factor (for) the Minnesota quality of life
and public safety and health. LGA changes must be considerate of how
it will impact the entire state and must avoid forming wide variations
in quality across the state. A balance of what the state LGA will
provide and local tax options that do not promote competition between
cities or areas is worth a strong debate to see what can work.
4. Corporate tax. The ideas sound
good, but I have not seen any facts regarding how this would operate
and then impact on jobs and companies in Minnesota, etc. Rigorous
dialogue on the subject can offer some information and added
Peter Hennessey (7.5) (7.5) (10) (0)
1. Broaden base. You'll have trouble
convincing people to include food and health care.
2. Reduce rate. Good luck with that
too. You'll reduce the rate when you can convince the politicians to
3. Local government aids. Push the
responsibility and the authority as far down the "food chain" as
possible. Let each locality determine their own needs and the means of
fulfilling them. However, I have a problem with encouraging the
reliance on real estate taxes. What is the difference between a Mafia
protection racketeer and your local government telling you to pay up
or they'll take your house away? Either way, you are facing extortion
at the point of a gun. Either way, your ability or willingness to pay
is irrelevant. Either way, the services you are forced to pay for are
of dubious value. As in all monopoly situations, you are given no
choice of services, service providers, and the level or quality of
service you prefer. For an alternative suggestion, see next item.
4. Corporate tax. What is a taxable
"business activity"? How does "business activity" differ from net
profit, or sales? But it's irrelevant. Businesses do not pay taxes.
They just pass (them) along with all of the other costs of doing
business. It is stupid to call for businesses to "pay their fair
share." What does that mean? Plus, the employees and shareholders
already pay taxes on "their fair share" of the income generated by the
business. No matter how you slice it, no matter what accounting games
you play, the bottom line is that all the taxes paid by the business
and its employees comes from only one source: the income generated by
that business. So you have a choice; either you tax the business on
its full profit, before paying their employees and shareholders, or
you tax the employees and shareholders on the income they get from the
business -- but not both. Doing anything else amounts to double
taxation. The same money is taxed yet again when you slap a sales tax
on items that the employees and shareholders buy for their own
consumption. But of course the more complicated you make the system,
the more bookkeepers, accountants, lawyers, estate planners, lobbyists
and bureaucrats you need. Why not simplify the system and do away with
all this expensive overhead, do away with all forms of taxes except
the retail sales tax? No forms to fill out, no records to keep (unless
you want to), no returns to file, and best of all, you pay the tax
only when you have the money to spend.
Grant Abbott (10) (10) (5) (10)
1. Broaden base. I agree we need more
emphasis on consumption taxes, but I am very wary of taxing health
care services and education. However, I am willing to see the tax on
almost everything else, so long as there is equity. Since sales taxes
are regressive, those who are poorer could end up paying a higher
percentage of their income. We would need some kind of system to make
sure this doesn't happen.
2. Reduce rate. This will make the
expansion of the sales tax more tolerable, and it would lay the
foundation for the possibility of a value-added tax system in the
3. Local government aids. I'm neutral
until I can be assured that the unintended consequences of such a move
causing the rich to get richer and the poor to get poorer. Such a move
could cause people to leave poorer communities in search of richer
communities with lower property tax rates.
4. Corporate tax. Businesses and
corporations need services just as other citizens need services. They
should participate in paying for those services. If we remove all
taxes from businesses and corporations, then citizens, in the hopes of
keeping their jobs, are subsidizing potential profits that may not be
invested in Minnesota. That sounds like the kind of blackmail the
owners of sports franchises are asking from the state and local
Dennis Johnson (0) (5) (2.5) (2.5)
Another committed progressive
"consultant" who purports to know how to raise revenue by raising
taxes. Kindergarten economics: How do you raise revenues without
raising taxes? Through growth. How do you grow jobs? By attracting
more businesses to Minnesota, bringing jobs and taxpayers. How do you
attract businesses? With lower taxes and fewer limiting regulations.
Who pays business taxes? Repeat 3 times: The Consumer, The Consumer,
The Consumer. How do you increase the population of unemployed and
underemployed, who pay little in taxes? Increase benefits. How do
you limit the increase in state budgets and growth of state
government? Nobody knows since it has never yet been done, except in
campaign speeches. Watch Gov. Christie in New Jersey - at least he is
Jack Evert (10) (7.5) (7.5) (5)
1. Broaden base. By broadening the
base and lowering the rate, the most obvious thing that one sees is
lower: the rate. I think that would help make MN more competitive.
2. Reduce rate. Since we need more
revenue, it would seem a logical time to increase such if the coverage
3. Local government aids. I guess I
see it as an improvement whenever spending and taxing decisions are
moved closer to voters. But I also see the need for the state to
manage gross inequities where they exist. So in other words, I don't
Carol Becker (10) (10) (0) (5)
1. Broaden base. The tax system we
have today overtaxes goods and under-taxes services and should be
rebalanced as our purchases have changed.
3. Local government aids. At least for
Minneapolis, which is asked to bear the cost of the majority of the
region's poor, (which has) a huge concentration of jobs, the major
business marketing venue in the state (the Convention Center) and the
major entertainment venues in the state, it seems appropriate that the
state help out with some of these costs.
Rick Krueger (10) (7.5) (0) (7.5)
3. Local government aids. This would
severely penalize our major core cities and even more so, small rural
cities. I used to reside in Staples where the property tax base is so
low that the LGA accounted for over 50% of the city budget. Property
tax rates are high in the cities I mentioned, and this proposal would
absolutely crush cities such as Staples.
Mary Rossing (7.5) (10) (7.5) (5)
2. Reduce rate. Reduced for business,
not for homestead.
3. Local government aids. Local
governments need more local authority not just for revenue but also
need to have mandates reduced. If state aid goes away so must the
insane amount unfunded mandates.
Anonymous (7.5) (7.5) (5) (7.5)
1. Broaden base. Broadening the sales
tax and reducing the rate may be more palatable to citizens. This may
be the only way to get the structure in place. But it sounds like
raising the rate would be inevitable.
2. Reduce rate. Same as above.
3. Local government aids. Need to be
careful here. Property owners who cannot vote locally (seasonals, some
businesses, some rental property owners, etc.) have no say and could
be taken advantage of.
Robert Peterson (7.5) (7.5) (2.5)
4. Corporate tax. What about the 2%
healthcare tax? Millions have been used to balance budget. What is
David Dillon (10) (0) (10) (10)
Joe Nathan (0) (2.5) (5) (7.5)
1. Broaden base. James makes clear he
is going to spend less in retirement, like lots of others. What about
the low/moderate income people who are not ready to retire but need to
buy clothing? Seems like a tax on clothing is regressive. Perhaps
increase the license fees on automobiles costing more than $25,000.
Just because Gov Ventura had a Porsche and did not like paying higher
license fees, we've been stuck with a pretty flat license fee system
for years. We could increase taxes on luxury items.
2. Reduce rate. Since I don't agree on
agree on broadening sales taxes to clothing, I don't agree with this.
Bob White (10) (10) (10) (7.5)
Wayne Jennings (8) (4) (8) (5)
Refreshing to hear new approaches.
Polly Bergerson (2.5) (0) (5) (5)
1. Broaden base. As pointed out,
seniors will not be affected by this type of change because they spend
less. The emphasis for change should not be made based on seniors or
baby boomers but on the impact to everyone. I am mostly in favor of
finding our why we need more revenue. I would like the state to truly
look at expenses, size of legislature, (at whether) programming and
aid provided (is) based on what has been done in the past, or we have
we always done it this way? How do we tighten our belts in government
just as we are required to tighten our belts as individuals?
3. Local government aids. Would this
mean a direct reduction on state income tax? Because this will just
move the tax base to the local entity.
Bruce A. Lundeen (2.5) (0) (5) (5)
2. Reduce rate. Coverage should not be
expanded, except maybe in the case of new and expensive clothing, but
not second-hand clothing.
W. D. (Bill) Hamm (0) (5) (10)
1. Broaden base. No, this is just
another attack on the working poor by another elitist white-collar
2. Reduce rate. While I strongly
support reducing the sales tax, I oppose any broadening of the base.
Instead decriminalize and regulate marijuana, which will bring in more
money and reduce capital expenditures far more than any adjustment of
3. Local government aids. LGA has
always been about the manipulation of local governments by the state.
It is time for the state to return all stolen local control, which
includes school districts. No more carrot-and-stick control model.
4. Corporate tax. The proof is in the
pudding and the pudding isn't mixed yet.
Edward Nowak (0) (0) (10) (0)
1. Broaden base. Cut spending, reduce
the size of government, cut the (nonsense).
2. Reduce rate. Income tax was
supposed to be temporary!
4. Corporate tax. No corporate taxes.
Everyone should pay tax, even the low wage earners. To quote the
worst president since Jimmy Carter, "you need skin in the game.
Joseph Mansky (10) (10) (5) (5)
Chuck Lutz (10) (2) (5) (10)
William Kuisle (0) (5) (7) (5)
Bait and switch. You are taking
valuable revenue from the private sector.
Any reduction will be temporary until
the next need for revenue.
Will never get the authority to tax
non-state businesses. Thus it puts our state businesses at a huge
Ayotte (10) (10) (10) (7.5)