Wednesday, February 16, 2011

A question for Governor Dayton

Last week in the State of the State address, the governor asked this question-
Then we need to commit more state money to providing all parents with the option of affordable all-day kindergarten for their children. How can states like Alabama, Louisiana, and Mississippi fund all-day kindergarten, while we in Minnesota do not?
It quickly became a liberal talking point, repeated on blogs and twitter.  But here is the question I would like any of those liberals or the governor to answer-

How is it that the three states you mentioned can afford all day kindergarten even though their income tax rates are far lower than Minnesota, even before your proposed tax hike?

Alabama and Mississippi have top tax rates that are lower than Minnesota's lowest tax rate.  5% is as high as it goes in those two states, while in Minnesota we tax our lowest income level at 5.35%.  Louisiana's top tax rate is 6%, only slightly higher than Minnesota's lowest rate.

With the governor's confiscatory new tax rates in place, Minnesota's top tax income tax rate would be more than double the top rates for the three states he mentioned in the State of the State address (10.95% vs 5% and 6%).  Adding in the 'temporary' 3% tax on the uber wealthy, and Minnesota's top tax rate would be 13.95%, vs Alabama and Mississippi's top rate of 5%.  So can someone please tell me how these three states can afford all day kindergarten without sticking it to the evil rich people?

The DFL's mantra that the rich don't pay enough taxes in Minnesota, and that is the cause of the budget 'deficit' is belied by the fact that three states with almost half the income tax rates can afford services that Minnesota cannot.


Anonymous said...

Good point about the Southern states.

In a similar vein, consider what happens in Missouri. I grew up there and go home every so often. Last summer, we went to a state park nearby my home. I was surprised that, unlike Minnesota, there is no charge for going to a state park.

My mother, a dyed-in-the-wool Democrat, said that her taxes paid for the park! Astate whose tax rate is lower than Minnesota provides better services (e.g. free state park access) than does Minnesota.

Again, a good point.

Anonymous said...

Interesting I followed you from a news link now I know you are a shill. Figures

Dave Thul said...

My comparison is probably a bit simplistic, since as you state there are lots of different ways to tax people. But no one can generally agree on what a state's total tax burden is.

My opinion is that states should hold themselves to one or two taxes, such as income or sales, and drop all the other fees and user created taxes. Tax simplicity would let everyone see clearly how much they are paying.