When Gov. Mark Dayton last week unveiled a proposed state budget and tax plan that would, among other things, lower Minnesota's sales tax from 6.875 percent to 5.5 percent, the plan sparked a vigorous debate among Patch readers.
Patch has had more than 100 reader comments on our story that asked people to take our poll, then share their thoughts on Dayton's tax and budget plan. Here's a sampling of some of the comments:
Brad Koehn: I'll be curious to see if Minnesotans spend enough on clothing worth more than $100 to bring in $2B in revenue. I'm a bit skeptical of that part. The rest looks good.
Chris Mau: 'My budget fix would take more than six months, BUT... We should allow the copper mining project up north. The environmental damage can be minimized (still some damage), but the economic impact outweighs that. Second, include a sales tax on all food, clothing, and services and reduce sales tax to 3.5%. Third, increase the gas tax and use that money the gas tax money to build more lanes in the metro area. Trafflic delays are discouraging business growth in the metro area.
Fourth, increase income tax rates to make up any shortfall after the three steps above. State income taxes are DEDUCTABLE, while sales tax isn't. If my state income taxes increase $300, I'm only going to pay $200 because I can deduct those taxes. If I pay the state in sales tax, I'm out the entire $300.
With the additional economic growth and the lower, but broader, tax base, I think I could balance the budget in 18 months (which is pretty good for a married parent)."
Susan: "Whatever you want to call it; extremism, partisan ideology, absolutism, or just plain old stubbornness, more and more Americans are expressing their disapproval. Each party has their idea of the perfect and absolute way the country should be run, thankfully one side will never have it's way entirely."
Eric: "In the end, this (Gov.'s plan) is a net tax increase. The governor is just playing a shell game shuffling things around to try to confuse and hide what it is, more money for greedy government, less for those who earned it."
To see the complete Patch post and all of the readers' comments, cllck on to this link.
To see a Patch story and UpTake video of Dayton's speech, click on this link.