It’s time to set a price for reciprocityPublished 10:09am Thursday, August 23, 2012
More than 80,000 contestants will remain in consolation row for another year if Wisconsin and Minnesota can’t agree on what the right price is.
The two states have yet to agree on how much money Wisconsin owes Minnesota in order to restore tax reciprocity between the states, through an agreement reached in February. The states have set Oct. 1 as the deadline in order for reciprocity to start again Jan. 1.
Sixteen Wisconsin legislators — including regional state Reps. Jill Billings, Steve Doyle, Chris Danou and Lee Nerison along with Sens. Jennifer Shilling and Kathleen Vinehout — recently sent a letter to Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton expressing concern that the states appear to be more than $40 million apart on price.
Wisconsin figures it owes Minnesota about $55.6 million. Minnesota pegs the total at $96 million, although Deputy Revenue Commissioner Matt Massman told the Pioneer Press that number is an estimate.
About 60,000 Wisconsin residents work in Minnesota and about 20,000 Minnesota residents work in Wisconsin. Those figures include nearly 3,000 residents of Houston County who work in Wisconsin and 2,500 Wisconsin residents who work in Winona.
Reciprocity simply means that the commuters who work in another state don’t have to file income taxes twice and pay income taxes in two states. It was that way for 41 years until 2009 when the states couldn’t agree on the timing of the payments and Wisconsin was in arrears.
In true neighborly fashion, Wisconsin has now paid its past due amount. And thanks to the efforts of local representatives on both sides of the river, the states have agreed to work together again.
But if the states don’t strike an agreement by October, reciprocity will not be restored until January 2014.
Minnesota should be paid every cent it is due, and Wisconsin should be given a full accounting of its invoice. And we hope that revenue officials in both states don’t use bureaucratic paper piles as an excuse to put this on the back burner.
The two states may disagree at times over who has the best professional sports teams and who has more lakes, but we should be able to agree that no one wins when we penalize thousands of taxpayers on both sides of the border.
— Winona Daiy News, Aug. 21