Wealthy Minnesotans Pay Smaller Share Of Taxes

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — A new report by the state Revenue Department says wealthy Minnesotans pay a smaller share of their incomes in state and local taxes.

The 10 percent of Minnesotans who earn more than $130,000 annually paid an average of about 10 percent of their incomes in taxes in 2008, the latest year for which the data was available. The rest of the state’s taxpayers paid at a rate of 12.3 percent.

The St. Paul Pioneer Press says on average, Minnesotans paid 11.5 percent of their incomes in state and local taxes in 2008, down from about 13 percent in the mid-1990s.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

  • Windom B


  • gt

    Then what is the state Revenue of Minnesota plan to do about this difference in revenues collected? Why are we writing articles as this? Just act on this data and create a new bill.

    • StraycatStrut

      How could this Be????? Minnesota Revenue knows everything.

  • JB

    Is it time for a flat tax yet, with no write offs or deductions for anyone? You will collect more from the wealthy and actually collect something from those that have never paid in. what a novel idea, everone benefits, everyone pays.

    • Mark

      Or maybe a real progressive tax? I don’t see much benefit to taxing those who already don’t have enough to get by. That doesn’t seem terribly productive.

      • TG

        It doesn’t seem terribly productive, but it is fair! If you make money you should pay income tax end of storty… We should all pay income tax because it is the system that is in place which has allowed us to make the money we do. Whether that be a lot or a little.

  • Colleen

    Yep, I’m all for a flat tax. Hurt everyone the same.

  • Just saying

    10% of 130K is $13,000
    12.5% of 40K is $5,000

    As far as the Federal tax bracket for 2008 (not assuming capital gains or AGI and assuming filing joint married)

    25% of 130K is $32,500 + $8,962.50
    15% of 40K is $6,000 + $1605.00

    The 130K earner paid $44,462.50 in total taxes or 34%
    The 40K earner paid $12,605 in total taxes or 32%

    • Kyle

      That is income tax only. Add in property taxes, sales taxes, licence fees, etc. Now consider the different deductions and accounting tricks, deductions, etc. The wealthy are paying FAR less than the average people in tax rates. Even warren buffet lamented about how he pays 20% of his income in taxes but hes $60k/yr secretary pays 40%.

      • Just saying


        The story wasn’t about deductions, it was about the tax table vs income levels. Statistics can be spun to make any point on anyones agenda. One could argue to your point that the ‘wealthy’ spend more than the ‘average’ person therefore pay much higher dollar figures towards items like ‘sales tax’ let alone property tax, etc. Let’s not even discuss the post-Ventura license tab fees.

        Warren Buffet isn’t a credible source on tax laws by any stretch and why would he only pay his secretary (executive assistant) 60K/yr? Propaganda.

    • Number Guy

      Bean counter here – you covered your tracks on this one with the disclaimer for NOT assuming or using the AGI. That distorts these facts totally.
      I have numerous clients making in excess of $1M gross. The (f)actual AGI very often ends up under $200K. Fairly common to see $250K or more in mortgage interest write off and property taxes, 20-30% of the gross manages to get sheltered in various tax shelters and retirement plans, another $50-100K in creative depreciation in which we all in essence buy them their various toys like cars, trucks, boats, buildings, etc *Pretty amazing in that the majority of American taxpayers sure pay a fortune in hidden subsidizes to the few who attain that income threshhold*
      My average client in 2009 earning that $1M gross or above paid on average
      14% Federal and 7% in state taxes. Large dollar figures to be sure yet no where close to the numbers many like to throw around. It’s hard to say what one’s “fair share” is but as a percentage of income they pay substantially less than the average family ever will. Way below.
      Another item we don’t hear much of – not only is that mortgage interest very beneficial to them now it’s that free money at time of sale that is very big non-taxed gain. Imagine that. ;-)

      • Just saying

        I want you to do my taxes!

      • TG

        I’m with you Just saying!!

    • Hannah

      Just saying. The article is misleading. I don’t know why WCCO does this stuff!
      We are paying a lot more in taxes then the average “joe”…not percentage wise but dollar wise! A LOT MORE! But I agree that a flat tax would be fair with no deductions!

    • Dale

      Again stats lie.

      Article is about “state” and “local” taxes – nothing about Federal.

      Local taxes include sales taxes, property, etc. You don’t see the whole picture.

      – Just saying….

      • Just saying


        You are narrow sighted, my vision is clear. You can’t have one without the other. Pull the blinders off. If you want to debate the differences between state/local taxes, and those that are federal I urge you to present your case. There will never be a situation where you wouldn’t also be responsible for Federal taxes, and if you want to poke at the fact that a certain demographic pays X towards state, you must also be cognicent that there is a Federal component as well. The Federal portion, which pays for the majority of the programs that are run by the state. But I assume you knew that already.

  • Marilyn K Geller

    I didn’t know that!! Here I live in MN and I wasn’t even aware that was going on!! Now, this is an eye-opening bit of news!
    Just kidding…here I was waiting for some big revelation at the end of what’s going to be done about it. I won’t be holding my breath.

  • Jabnet

    Why does our legislatures feel this is fair. The middle,lower class, poor. elderly,medicare people, students all get hit hard no matter what it is. Isn’t that what communism is?

  • Calliegirl

    Just saying – why do you want to reveal the whole story with the numbers? I mean, you’re ruining the spin here. LOL

  • Rory

    The so called wealthy pay more in property taxes in a year than most people pay into income tax for the same services. The need to keep it simple flat tax everyone and ni income tax credit. We have about 35% of the people paying nothing and alot of them actually get money back from a system they do not pay into because income tax credits. Instead of talkjing about raing taxes all the time lets eliminate waste and fraud throughtout the the goverment.

    • Ralph

      When you choose to live in a large house it is your choice. The taxes are part of the equation. Property taxes do not go to the same services as income taxes do. The exception is the aid to cities fund which was meant to reduce property taxes and has been cut over the last decade.
      Elect a better watchdog of a representative because other than designer water fountains we certainly don’t hear much news about auditing waste.

  • helper

    DING DONG!! Earth to republicans…. anyone home?

    Probably not… way to ignorant…

    • Cindy

      Disregard this persons comments. No matter what the issue they
      offer no intelligent insight or relevant information. It is always just name calling.

  • tlarson

    Every time I look at the income tax tables, high earners pay a larger per cent than low earners. What is it that makes it possible for the high earners to pay at a lower per cent?
    Regarding the idea that low earners should not pay tax, to achieve that we must eliminate sales tax and corporate tax (corporate tax is just a hidden sales tax).

  • Dunker007

    Typical how they leave out the totals that “Just Saying” extrapolated above.

    C’mon CBS, how about taking it a step further and showing how much of the total revenue collected by the State was PAID by the top 10% of earners as a percentage of total revenues collected? Oh wait, that would ruin the narrative.

    We do not have a revenue collection problem, we have a SPENDING PROBLEM. Until the real issue is addressed this problem will continue. Do you really think and extra 2, 5 or even 50% increase on the “RICH” with make this problem go away?

    The State will continue to spend more than is taken in until THE VOTERS understand and CORRECT the problem.

    • TG

      NO, Just raising taxes will not solve the problem. The article did not even begin to say that was the case. It was simply pointing out the fact that High income earners don’t pay equivalent % of income to taxes. It doesn’t mention property tax or sales tax… Yup, thats right, But THAT ISN”T WHAT THE ARTICLE IS ABOUT!!! You are 100% right. Just increasing taxes will not solve the debt problem.. But neither will just cutting spending. Lets compair it to a household income. If i’m only making so much money, I should not spend beyond my means. That means I need to cut spending to bring things in line. However, I can only cut spending so far. Eventually i’ll need to buy food, gas, and pay for my home. Sure I can stop spending on those items if I want but it will lead to a very quick decline in my quality of life. So if I can’t pay for those needs which are fairly basic then I need to increase my revenue also. either find a higher paying job or another job to supliment my existing income.

      Ideological Democrats and Republicans are both wrong at this point. We need a compromise to solve this issue and neither party seems ready to make such a step in the best interest of the people of the state of MN as a WHOLE. Not just the rich or the middle class or the poor.

      • Wesly

        For them to compromise would be a big miracle. Governor Dayton would appear to be able to do so, but the legislature?

      • TG

        With all due respect, neither side seems to willing to budge. Dayton SEEMS to be compromising more but only because he is aware that just raising taxes will only cause HUGE Backlash because it won’t really solve the whole problem. If only the Republican’s would be willing to not cut anything and everything. Lets keep some of our basic NEEDED services and lets put the incentives in the right place to get people back to work… My issue with the republican party right now is that they CLAIM “we want to fix the budget” so they want to cut spending in one hand then turn around and give additional tax breaks to high income and business on the other. While I understand the “hopes” of creating jobs by tax breaks to corporations. I’m yet to find a “rich business man” who if you give him $50,000 will actually turn around and spend that money creating a job. If you show me one, then i’ll begin to change my thought process.

    • Number Guy

      We have a spending problem no doubt. It would be eased it all paid their fair share. They don’t. Starting at the top were the bulk of the tax code favors to the bottom where they pay next to nothing. The middle class – totally trashed by the code as it is.
      Now on to spending – we all have out quirky likes and wants and we willing to fund the ones we like. That is the rub right there. And the reason we spend so much.
      If one looks at it from afar we can say “this is a waste” or “that is a waste” but it will never be the things we enjoy or want now, will it. lol
      I do not like paying taxes. I do very much like what surrounds me in MN or the nation as a whole. We created and built it all – now we just need to pay for the things we’ve enjoyed and benefited from in past. Not fun…not easy. What we must do as a country.
      So if it means another 2-5% in taxes so be it. Cheap rates vs the rest of the world. Best buy around. ;-)

      • Flinstone Freddy

        got no problem with a word you said except this – I do get pizzed off when I pay more in actual $$$ than my neighbor who earns dang near 3x what we do in this household. It seems wrong and it takes money to create the means to hide it from the tax man too.
        If 5% more would solve the USA debt issue send me the bill for my share.
        We have FREEDOM. That’s worth every dime I pay in.

        btw- be nice to get my neighbor to do the same.

  • Nica

    Blame it on the teachers!

  • Patrick

    Wealth in this country is constantly being redistributed upward. That’s how capitalism works. That’s what makes it a free and motivating system for all. The problem comes when the all the money ends up in the hands of a few people which is exactly how it’s designed to work with out any checks or balances. Has anyone ever played a game of Monopoly? One winner and a bunch of broke losers with no property or money. The way you deal with that and create a system that is sustainable is to TAX progressively. That puts money back into the system in order to keep it going. That money ends up back in the pockets of the wealthy again anyway. Despite the economy the money is still out there it’s just concentrated at the top. Increased taxes on the wealthy along with reasonable spending cuts (including pay and benefit freezes for public workers) is the right way to fix the budget. Lets also look at some numbers: A 10% tax on 40,000 is 4000 leaving you with 36,000. A 20% tax on 150,000 is 30,000 leaving you with 120,000. Now which person would you rather be? Are you really that upset for the 150,000 person. Now imagine the the person making a lot more. Is that life really so bad even when you pay more in taxes. The economy typically does better when this progressive tax structure is in place. Tax money goes right back out into the economy anyway and we all benefit. If you make less than 100,000 grand you have nothing to complain about when the government talks about raising taxes and you should not waste your time defending people far wealthier than your self who will be fine.

    • TG

      RIGHT ON!!!

    • Tim P

      I keep digging and trying to find a positive and favorable answer to this one but ……
      where and when was the longest lasting so-called Capitalist country that didn’t end up being a dictatorship or Kingdom or similar ????
      Are we in years ahead going to reach that threshhold cuase I am sick of working 5o-60 hours a week to barely make ends meet. I pay my dues.
      I am the only one in my family that does too – and it causes some serious issues. My sister only makes about $131,000 (imagine that) and my brithers better than $250,000. They thriving and at tax time I pay fricken more than they do?! Come on – this is BS

      • Dunker007

        Sorry to tell you this, but your siblings pay way more than you do. Maybe not by percentage, but next time you see them ask what their actual tax bill was. You will likely be shocked.

      • to Dunker

        No truth at all to what you said. We have on more than one occaison compared number right off the returns. They pay higher in actual property taxes but way under on actual end line taxes paid.
        Nice try though but you off on it all.

    • Dunker007

      Your Monopoly comparison might be a shocking way to make people who are uninformed think “oh my gosh, I know how this ends”, but it is not at all comparable to our economy. If you truly think it is, please take some time to educate yourself more, here is a good short explanation from some on Yahoo Answers…

      The current American system works to keep everyone playing as long as possible.

      Here’s how it works. Imagine you’re sitting with friends, brothers, sisters, and/or cousins playing a game of monopoly. One of you owns all the railroads or utilities. Your mom or dad come in and say you can’t do that, and make you divide them up with your friends/siblings.

      As you keep playing, and begin to own all of one kind of property color, your parents keep coming in and make you split up your ownership with a friend or kid brother.

      Now, this would get greatly annoying after a while because nobody could win the game.

      The purpose of the game is for one player to eventually own the whole board, right. What happens when someone owns the whole board? The game stops.

      If you played with annoying parent rules, the game would never end.

      The game of monopoly actually has a subversive element. It’s supposed to be a lesson in why monopolies are bad. In real life, when one owns a monopoly, competition stops, prices go up, and poverty increases.

      In the game, players go bankrupt. In real life, people go bankrupt too. When one loses Monopoly, they get angry at the winner, or they shrug it off and play something else. In real life, when one loses, they lose their homes, go hungry, do without food, clothing and shelter.

      Looking at the Annoying Parent Variant of Monopoly, we can see a model of the US economy. It would be really annoying to play the game that way, and its very frustrating for businesses that want to be monopolies in the real world too. In the US, the government has played the role of annoying parents.

      That’s actually a good thing. It prevents monopolies from forming. (It’s called anti-trust legislation.) This good because it keeps businesses from dominating markets, which impoverish people.

      What’s going on now, is that politicians are ignoring anti-trust legislation, and encouraging less parenting of the marketplace. This is leading to collusion between big business and big government. This would be like Mom or Dad playing favorites with one or two players in the game so that others lose. Mom and Dad get kickbacks from the winning players.

      • Dunker007

        Sorry, that belongs a couple levels up, for Patrick.

    • Norge

      Patrick..you are the living proof that when listening to liberals one needs to remember that 90% of the ‘facts’ are ‘made-up’ on the spot 90% of the time. Leberals love to take a small grain of sand called truth and the attempt to build a long-winded castle of deciet and decption on it. Don’t work bro, the ‘facts you are making up self destruct in the face of reality. Look up the fact of who pays 90% of the revenue into the state, and all your rant caollapses!

  • Help

    Get out your checkbook Mark from MNTZXWASTE, they’re coming for ya!!

    • HANNAH

      I hope they come for Governor Dayton!

  • Not fair

    Still the Republicans are for the rich. They always take from the middle class and poor. What a way to run the state and country and put us poorer.

    • Hannah

      Republicans do NOT take from the middle class and poor! We have a Democrat for a president and a Democrat for two senators and a Democrat for a governor and my tax bill is just as much this year as it was last year! I pay enough in taxes to house and feed 3 families of 4!!

      • tg

        Your right, they don’t take from teh middle class and poor. they just make sure that the rich have enough “loop holes” to be able to expand the gap between them. You are aware that just because you have demorcats representing you doesn’t mean that they are the only ones that make the decisions right? With all due respect if you are paying enough in taxes to house 3 families of 4, I have ABSOLUTLY NO sympathy for you what so ever. As some one stated above if we all paid flat tax with no deductionns of 10%
        30,000 income pays 3,000 in taxes and has 27,000 left
        250,000 income pays 25,000 in taxes (Almost as much as the other guy has to live on) and still has 225,000 left…

        Who would you rather be? the guy who “pays more” or the guy who “Pays less’ and is left with nothing.

    • Norge

      Another union-goon or someone who never finished high-school, or was taught growing-up to always be a victim. I’m poor, and I’m a Republican, I’m not ‘for’ the rich, its just that when my ship comes in after years of hard work I WILL NOT tolerate the like of you kicking my door in screaming “YOU”RE RICH GIVE ME HALF”, Quit spending so much time whinnning and go EARN your own. I don’t have the time to spend teaching you the concept of EARN, look it up.

  • anon

    herp…derp… It’s because the wealthy give the rest of us lowlifes a job…..durrrr.

    • Dunker007

      I have had a few jobs in my life, but I have never been employed by a poor person.

      • Hey there bangbro

        Maybe read todays business and see the return on the dollar from the latest $$ 7 million kicked out by state as incentives for jobs.
        All this BS about needed more incentive to create jobs funnels thru all right. To the applicants pocket with the barest minimum of requirements to fleece the taxpayer. Way to go – great ROI. lmfao
        The funnel at the top is smiling more and more every day thanks to the taxpayer base under them. Job well done GOP

    • Hannah

      anon… where would you be today if the “wealthy” did not give you a job??? You would be on welfare….collecting from the taxpayers!!!

      • tg

        Based on your comments above hannah I think it is fare to say that the “wealthy” didn’t jsut Give him a job. It is very possible they earned the job..

        Again I challenge any one to find me a “Wealthy business person” who if given $50,000 free and clear would turn around and spend that money “creating a job”

  • Tom

    It wouldn’t matter what type of change you all recommend the Republicans will fight it and continue too protect the rich. They always have and always will!

    • Doug Turner

      Ya and the democrats have done soooo much for us – they baby sit us, they weaken us with their “assistance programs” , they punish us when we do things They do not want us to do, always know what is best for us ….They are the “mommy state” And its the old saw – Everything in the State and Nothing Outside it”

      Its just slavery by another word…..

    • Norge

      So what Union-goon put you up to that brainless comment? Oh, you are a union goon? Grow up, I did. I was raised a Truman and JFK type democrat, which is why I now have to be a Republican, as all the communists and socialists have taken over the Democratic Party, but some people still cling to the ‘faith-of their-fathers’, when their fathers are rolling over in their graves, their party got hi-jacked, and those not capable of thinking without mommy and daddy holding their hand continue to support the farce called the DNC, when it should be called the USSR.

  • Mark from MNTaxWaste.com

    Oh yeah that’s so true… They are some lazy people.

    • Mark's Mother

      Lazy people, Mark?? You sit on the computer all day every day in these forums. Get off your flabby backside and go shovel dirt or something productive for the floods. Your father and I are kicking you out of the basement this spring. We want our rec room back.

  • Just saying

    Victim Du Jour = class-less

    Please go back to your day job of licking windows.

  • Victim Du Jour

    Yeah I’d rather sit my fat old a_ _ in my lazy boy and sip pina coladas

  • Trimom

    It’s easy to report on generalities and not specifics. There are other issues that many don’t consider. Many of those screaming “tax the rich” need to look at history. There is no evidence that a socialist economy ever works. Do you really think the wealthy in government power are going to feel any discomfort? I can tell you that Dayton with his trust fund safely secured in South Dakota won’t. Look at jobs. Are the low income earners or lower middle class creating jobs? No, the wealthy create jobs. How many of those top earners are business owners and much of that income is actually business income which will fuel business growth and create more jobs? Oh…and let’s look at a topic near and dear to my heart. How many of those people who are screaming higher taxes on the rich actually pay 100% of their kids’ college expenses? Not many. I’m not even in the high income bracket, yet we qualify for zero financial aid. We pay 100% of our kids’ college plus my taxes pay for other kids’ college. My husband and I both worked full time and paid for our own college then worked hard to get where we are today. I’m proud to pay for college for my kids as long as they work hard, have a goal and are majoring in a viable major enabling them to support themselves. How many kids taking full government money for their education are majoring in something they have no hope in hell of getting a job in, much less support themselves thereby setting them up to take more of my tax dollars so they can live the dream?? I would love to make a living quilting but that isn’t realistic! I have to work hard so that about 50% of my income goes to taxes when you consider federal, state, property and sales tax. Is there any shame left in this country??? How many of your parents would have taken a free hand out yet you are asking for me to dip into my pocket and give you one, forget that my charitable giving is already in the 20% range. Which brings up charitable giving. How many of the wealthy are patrons of charities in a big way? Would that giving go down thereby endangering non profits? Oh…and then they would be evil again for not digging deeper. You want to create more jobs??? Cut spending, lower taxes on the people who will truly create jobs in the private sector and quit whining about what you don’t have. Go out…work for it and get it!!

  • Jay

    News item in our local paper quoted author Stephen King as making fun of the states of WI/Fl/and Maine his hometown calling all three Governors’ “the three stooges”.. He claims to be rich and pays far less than us regular joes.He believes the rich SHOULD be taxed more. Guess the majority of us would have to agree with that statement. The rich keep on getting rich on the backs of the lesser wage earner.

  • Hannah

    Trimom, that was a good one!! The upper income people WORKED to make their life the way they want it! There is nothing wrong with that! They put their kids through college, pay their taxes and raise their kids! There is nothing wrong with some people making more money then others!

    • tg

      Hannah, your right, there is nothing wrong with it at all. But the system that is in place allowed that to happen (Obviously with work on their end). Taxes are a way of supporting the system that gave you the opportunity to get where you are. And FOR THE RECORD, there are a lot of “trust fund baby’s” out there that didn’t work for a damn thing. Just like there are alot of poor folk who don’t try to get out of the situation they are in.. As usuall it works both ways but one side refuses to look at it from the other side.

      • Trimom

        TG, Taxes should support infrastructure…not redistribute my hard earned money to those who are all to willing to take the handout. I personally know people who won’t take a job with a living wage because “they wouldn’t be happy doing that!” Are you kidding me?? Let’s get over this Mr. Rogers Neighborhood mentallity get real and work like the greatest generation did. They didn’t buy houses and cars and toys they couldn’t afford. They paid cash and the economy was great. Even when the economy was failing, they were strong and worked hard. People need to quit sitting around waiting for social welfare to cover them so they can do whatever they want. So you do a job you aren’t happy with. Pride should come from supporting ourselves and our families…a life well lived….courage under fire…not taking a hand out from the government because what you chose to do for a living is something you enjoy but can’t make a living at. That, my friend is a hobby.

      • tg

        @ Timmon,,, I agree with you 100%
        However there are people out there who NEED assistance.. There is surely a difference between those ho NEED assistance and those who choose to stand in line fo a hand out of OUR tax money.

        (Assistance would be defined as short term and keeping peoples heads above water until they are stable enough to do it on their own… NOT LONG TERM)

      • Norge

        “one side refuses to look at it from the other side” You’re correct tg and the sooner we get rid of the rest of the tax n spend liberals the better, to bad we have the stupidist brain-cell damaged drug-addicted alcoholic governor standing in the way.

      • tg

        @ Norge… Just so you are aware, it goes both ways… The republicans with their Cut spending and then decrease taxes for coroprations aren’t helping the budget or job creation.

  • Common Sense

    The rich are the ones who provide jobs…tell the president not to spend trillions of dollars… thats a huge problem. Work on the economy and not changing healthcare or making alternative energy until the economy is turned around. It’s The same people blame Bush for the housing market crashing when in reality the Clinton administration made it possible for everyone and their brother to get a home loan another huge problem. Do some research and you will see that only 50% of americans pay taxes….another huge problem! I know of several people who haven’t worked in two years and get govt assistance then get 3000.00 back for each child in taxes and they don’t work because it’s not the same amount they were making before….get over it there are jobs out there…work two if you have too!

    • tg

      Why work two jobs when they can sit back and do nothing and make the same amount?

      Incentives are all in the wrong places again.

      Also, the rich “provide” jobs so that they can make more money. Not because they are trying to be helpfull.

      The President alone does not spend trillions of dollars… It takes a group effort.

      As for not spending on alternative energy… with gas and fuel prices going sky high i’m sure not looking toward the future is a great idea!! You do realize if we could develop alternative energy it would create jobs?? intern helping turn the economy around…

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