Gov. Mark Dayton's proposal to lower the state sales tax but broaden it cover dozens new categories- including car repairs, legal services and clothing over $100- has some Roseville-area business leaders and owners concerned.
Here is some initial local reaction:
Tim Roche, CEO of the Twin Cities North Chamber of Commerce: "This patch work of finding creative ways to gain more revenue just shows that the whole tax system needs to be redone.
Unfortunately, some people fail to realize that taxes on businesses are passed onto the community through higher prices, less available jobs, and stagnant wage increases. No matter how it’s spun, 99% vs. 1%, DFL vs. Republican, the haves vs. the have nots, we are all in this together. All 100% of us."
John Kysylyczyn (former Roseville mayor, Republican and business owner): "One of my concerns is the effect on small businesses. I own four small businesses, and the addition of various taxes on them will have an impact. While some will say that this is a cost that is to be passed onto the consumer, that often times cannot be done in a competitive environment.
"If I cannot pass those additional costs onto the consumer, than that means that I have to make up the difference out of my own back pocket. Contrary to popular belief, most small business owners are not millionaires."
Mark Fotsch (Roseville resident and Republican candidate for state House 66A last fall): "I attended Gov. Dayton's revenue meeting back in December. Themocrats plan to raise taxes, however, when asked what are you raising taxes for they said you will have to ask the budget committee. It was a sneaky move to send the tax collector out to tell you your taxes are going up, but never explain for what.
The term Tax and Spend Democrat is wrong. The correct terminology is Spend and Tax Democrat. Gov. Dayton plans to spend money the state does not have, then ask for the money later. He tells us the money is for education. The education budget is only one portion of the budget. Where is the rest of the money going?
The dialogue needs to change in Minnesota. People must ask where their money is going before we start paying taxes.
The Democrats are using education and our children to defend their spending habits. We need an explanation for spending, not an explanation on how to raise taxes."
One major element in Dayton's proposed state budget and tax plan is that it would lower Minnesota's sales tax from 6.875 percent to 5.5 percent but broaden it to cover more items such as higher-priced clothing, car repairs and other services.
In his quest to avoid a projected $1.1 billion revenue shortfall, Dayton said his plan also includes raising the income on some groups of taxpayers (such as the state's 2 percent of highest-income earners). He is proposing to reduce property taxes and cut the corporate tax rate on businesses. (To see a Patch story and UpTake video of Dayton's speech, click on this link.)
Look to Roseville Patch for more srtories, in future weeks, on the tax debate.