Recent Posts

Minnesota tax cuts for the rich

319484_10150274658633247_1013005_nPlease, please stick to your guns on this.
 

Gov. Mark Dayton issued an ultimatum Monday as the Legislature’s session entered its final week: Without emergency funding for schools he won’t cut a tax deal. Republicans said they wouldn’t meet his demand…
 
“My position is that I will not engage in any negotiations on a tax bill or sign any tax bill until we have an agreement to provide emergency school aid,” Dayton said, stressing that his proposal is needed to stop schools from shedding staff or ditching programs.
(MPR)

Update: As of Thursday morning, Governor Dayton is indeed sticking to his guns. Which is a great thing, for all Minnesotans, even if too many haven’t the sense to realize that.
 
A reality check on Minnesota school funding, and other remarks, below the fold.
 
…READ MORE

{ 0 comments }

stopwaronworkersA**holes. Hypocritical a**holes. Plain and simple.
 

Members of Minnesota’s two big public employee unions suffered a setback Thursday when a legislative panel voted down their tentative contract agreements.
 
The Subcommittee on Employee Relations rejected the tentative deals by a 6-4 party-line vote. Republicans opposed the contracts covering more than 30,000 state workers. Democrats supported the pacts…
 
Rep. Steve Drazkowski, R-Mazeppa, argued that the raises were too big and exceeded economic growth measures.
 
“I’m concerned that what we have here is increasing the payrolls of people who happen to work for government at the expense of people who don’t work for government,” Drazkowski said.
 
Other Republicans on the House-Senate panel, including its chair Rep. Marion O’Neill, R-Maple Lake, raised concerns about the impact of the pay raises on state agency budgets.
 
“We need to be fiscally responsible,” O’Neill said.
(MPR)

Assuming no improvement or further deterioration relative to February forecast projections and factoring in the eventual need to include funding for the state legislature, the $1.651 billion general fund surplus anticipated early in the year could become a $104 million deficit. The budgetary balance situation will become clearer when updated revenue collection information from MMB is released later this month…
 
A major contributor to the massive deterioration of the state general fund surplus is the large tax cuts enacted during the 2017 special legislative session. While relatively modest to begin with, the most rapidly increasing of these tax breaks and—over time—likely the largest is the freeze of the state business property tax. The biennial loss of revenue from the state business property tax freeze is projected to grow to over $400 million by FY 2026-27. Over the course of next decade, state revenues are projected to decline by approximately $1 billion as a result of the freeze.
(North Star Policy Institute)

{ 0 comments }

minnesota_state_capitolAt least, that seems the readily apparent interpretation, to me.
 

Minnesota Management and Budget commissioner Myron Frans held a state Capitol news conference Wednesday to say the budget proposal Dayton released in January and updated last month is fiscally responsible, while the House and Senate GOP plans are not.
 
“The Legislature’s math just does not add up,” Frans said.
 
Frans accused Republican leaders of using “fuzzy math,” as well as “phony savings” and delayed payments to pay for a large tax cut bill. He suggested many of the bills could be headed for vetoes if not altered.
 
Frans highlighted several examples in the finance bills for Health and Human Services and State Government.
 
“The legislative budget bills we have seen are not serious attempts to govern Minnesota,” Frans said. The bills are designed to be talking points to start negotiations with the governor from an imaginary position, a made up starting point if you will.”
(MPR)

And here’s an example of that “starting point.” Legislators in the Party of Trump actually have the gall to call it the “Minnesota Way.” They should be saying the “ALEC Way.”
 

The Minnesota budget blueprint produced (March 20) by majority House Republicans seeks hefty tax cuts and aims to pare down expected costs in publicly subsidized health and welfare programs.
 
GOP leaders said their framework would deliver long-overdue tax relief given a sizable state budget surplus. The plan would make $1.35 billion in tax cuts the next two years with the details to come later.
(MPR)

 
…READ MORE

{ 0 comments }

imagesqtbnANd9GcRhlLTHok0fDiQpsx_IVQRQg-lVMpygkf1rEyJsns1mZT-bzjRXNo one cuts through Party of Trump bulls*it in Minnesota – and uncritical corporate media amplification of it – like the outstanding North Star Policy Institute.
 

Exempting Social Security income from the state income tax—even if it is somehow targeted to households with incomes under $120,000, as promotional material released by Senate conservatives suggests—is likely to benefit higher income seniors. That’s because low- and middle-income seniors are already paying little or no tax on their Social Security income because the first $32,000 of this income is already exempt and only a portion of the income above $32,000 is taxed on a sliding income-sensitive scale. Based on 2012 data, sixty percent of Social Security recipients already pay no tax on their Social Security income; the forty percent that pay any tax on Social Security income tend to be of relatively high income…
 
The second main feature of the conservative Senate tax plan is to reduce the state business property tax levy. A portion of this reduction—the exemption of the first $100,000 of taxable value—at least has the benefit of directing a sizeable share of the tax relief to the smaller businesses, as noted in a recent North Star article, but the elimination of the annual inflation adjustment to the state business property tax will direct the overwhelming bulk of tax relief to extremely high value businesses, with the top one percent of businesses by value getting 30.5 percent of the tax relief, while the bottom 75 percent of businesses by value get only 14 percent of the relief. In future biennia, the cost of eliminating the inflation adjustment is likely to grow rapidly and quickly surpass the amount of relief given through exempting the first $100,000 of value.
(North Star Policy Institute)

{ 0 comments }

greedSurprise!
 

Republicans in the Minnesota House are pushing again for tax cuts with a renewed focus this session on phasing out the state tax on Social Security income…
 
In Minnesota, Social Security benefits are already fully exempt from state and federal taxes for married couples with annual incomes of less than $32,000. The full exemption applies to individuals with income of less than $25,000. There’s a 50 percent exemption on slightly higher incomes. No more than 85 percent of anyone else’s benefits are subject to the state tax…
 
Senate Taxes Committee Chair Rod Skoe, DFL-Clearbrook…said the full exemption favored by Republicans would primarily benefit people with the highest incomes.
 
“The vast majority of the money, if we exempt Social Security, goes to people making over $100,000 in income,” he said. “That would be investment incomes that relatively well-to-do people have, and they would be exempt from paying any income tax on their Social Security. Doesn’t seem like a good policy direction for us to go.”
(MPR)

Since about 1980, tax cuts for the rich have been incessantly proclaimed by conservatives as the means to unending prosperity for all. It obviously hasn’t worked out that way, but they keep bringing it.

 
The quote “doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results is the definition of insanity” is often attributed to Albert Einstein. It probably isn’t really his. In any case, I’m hesitant to express disagreement with whatever smart person did come up with it. But the fact is that I don’t think it’s insanity, at all. It’s just plain stupid. And it’s long past time to get stupid people out of governance.
 

{ 0 comments }