Denny McNamara Viewpoint: 'Tax the rich' means 'tax everyone'
As the 2013 session nears completion, I am becoming more and more disappointed with the number of taxes and fees legislative Democrats are choosing to raise on all hard-working taxpayers.
They told us they were going to "tax the rich," so none of us were all that surprised when they targeted income tax rates on the top 1 or 2 percent of wage earners in this state. But then we discovered that people in every tax bracket-- including the poor -- are subject to income tax hikes. Check out these figures from our nonpartisan House research staff: One percent of taxpayers in the 5.35 percent bracket (those earning up to $21,650 a year), 61 percent of taxpayers in the 7.05 percent bracket (those earning $21,650 to $73,500 a year), and 82 percent of taxpayers in the 7.85 percent bracket (those earning $73,500 to $226,000 a year) would receive an income tax increase under the House Democrat tax proposal.
The House plan also raises taxes on Internet purchases, sports memorabilia, cigarettes and alcohol.
Worst of all, there is no reason to raise taxes on all Minnesotans. The House majority wants $3 billion in permanent increases in order to eliminate a one-time $600 million deficit. I could support some tweaks to eliminate our budget shortfall, but this is going too far. We are a border community. Why would we want to give neighboring restaurants, liquor stores, and convenience stores an advantage over local businesses? These bills just give our residents more incentive to shop in Wisconsin.
Fee increases are also flying under the radar. Plans have already been passed that would ultimately raise the costs of many items -- including city water, batteries, paint and carpet. Our research team has said that fee increases alone will bring in hundreds of millions more to the state. All of them will be paid for by all Minnesotans, not just the rich.
Many of these proposals are currently being debated in House/Senate conference committees, where a small group of representatives and senators will craft a compromise bill that can be passed in both bodies. But based on what I've seen, this Democratic-led Legislature will not end the session by taxing only the rich. They will permanently raise taxes and fees on every Minnesotan; but for now their task is to agree on how much more they want you to pay.
McNamara represents House District 54B, which includes part of Cottage Grove, Denmark Township, Afton, Hastings and Nininger Township.