Dayton plans new taxes on Minn. families

Published 10:16 am Thursday, January 31, 2013

Column: Guest Column, by David Hann

Every family in Minnesota will see a tax increase under Gov. Mark Dayton’s new budget proposal, which was released last week in St. Paul. While Democrat and Republican governors across the country are cutting taxes and lowering spending to help grow our economy, Gov. Dayton calls for $3.6 billion in new taxes, and increases state spending by almost 8 percent.

David Hann

In Dayton’s sales tax plan, the state will collect an additional $2.1 billion from new taxes on a variety of goods and services that will be paid by all Minnesotans.

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You may have heard that Gov. Dayton proposes to add sales tax to oil changes and other car services, haircuts, digital books and music (digital downloads) and over-the-counter medications.

Under Dayton’s plan, clothing items over $100 — like work boots, snowsuits and wedding dresses — would now be taxed.

He also proposes to tax health club memberships, manicures and pedicures and veterinarian services.

Legal services, taking a taxicab, and buying a magazine or newspaper would now cost more because it would include the new sales tax.

Dance lessons, retirement planning services, travel agents, interior decorating and snow plow services would also be taxed under Gov. Dayton’s plan.

The state of Minnesota, under Dayton’s plan, will collect an average of $389 more in sales tax from every Minnesotan to invest in more government-run programs that we simply do not need. This means a family of four would pay $1,556 more per year.

In addition to sales tax increases, there are a variety of other taxes under Dayton’s plan, such as tax increase on businesses to business services and an income tax rate increase of 25 percent on some families.

Looking at the details of the governor’s spending proposals, there is no new reform or initiatives that justify this kind of increase. It is simply the same old increases to the same old programs being conducted in the same old ways. Minnesotans will enjoy the same government services as before — just at a higher price.

Republicans oppose raising taxes on families to balance our budget. Two years ago we solved a $6 billion deficit by slowing the growth of government and spending without eliminating essential services that Minnesotans need.

Our focus this legislative session will be to balance the state budget without placing additional burdens on Minnesota families. The governor’s expansive state budget requires that every family’s budget gets smaller. We need to work together, Republicans and Democrats, on practical solutions that grow the economy and provide opportunities for all Minnesota families.

State Sen. David Hann, R-Eden Prairie, is the minority leader in the Minnesota Senate.