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Good Question: How Much Would Taxing The Top Help?

ST. PAUL, Minn. (WCCO) — Governor Mark Dayton wants to raise taxes on the top 2 percent of income earners in Minnesota to make $1.8 billion. Republicans refuse to raise taxes.

So, Christy in St. Paul is one several viewers who emailed us about the budget battle: How much would taxing the top help?

All of the numbers have been in the news for months, but what do they really mean? We took that question to the top, Myron Frans, the Commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Revenue.

“How much money do you have to make to be in that top 2 percent? There are two categories,” Frans said.

Those two categories are married, filing jointly. They would start paying the tax when they make $250,000 of taxable income and individual at $150,000.

We asked: How many people would fall into the category?

“We have about 2.4 million income tax filers in Minnesota. Of that, about 1.9 percent fall into those two categories. About 36,000 are those married, filing joint, and about 9,000 are individuals or about 44,000 people,” Frans said.

And how much money would that generate for the state?

“It would be about $1.548 billion to be exact,” Frans said.

Some new sales and corporate tax provisions get Dayton to that $1.8 billion proposal in the fourth tier tax.

We asked Frans if he’s tired of breaking down the numbers.

“No. I love talking about them. Hopefully people will understand and appreciate what they all mean,”  Frans said.

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