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.

More from Liz Collin

One Comment

  1. Maren Larson says:

    Your Good Question for tonight prompted me to do the math. The tax increase for those 44,000 would be $35,181.81 per person. Why wasn’t that number included in your answer?

    1. ? says:

      huh? 1,800,000/44,000=40.90 If my math is right—are we quibbling about $40? Are you serious!!!??? If I’m right, I’ll gladly send in a check if they just get this thing over with!

      1. ? says:

        ooops–read that wrong…billion not million. I don’t have a calculator or skill for that. Disregard.

        1. ?? says:

          @maren Larson

          Of course you know the GREEDY CEO with an income of over 100 million dollars will pay a lot more than a couple with a taxable income of 250 thousand dollars.

          1. M B says:

            Ah, but what does the truth matter when you’ve got a flag to wave, right? The above number is more likely to scare people into voting a tax hike down though, so that makes it alright in the end, doesn’t it?.

            Too bad Maren’s math is so lacking of real world numbers/application.

          2. t says:

            Ahhh, I get it. If you are successful and rise to the top of your company you are greedy. Anyone making that kind of money worked their a$$ off so I’m sure they really don’t care what you think. Why do you all think anyone that makes money stole it???

            1. BK says:

              Some people rose to the top by working hard, BUT some rose to the top because mommy and daddy handed them a silver spoon. Do you honestly feel it is fair for the middle class to take up all of the slack? The middle class workers are what keeps these businesses going because they are the ones doing the job that other people don’t want to do. Another thing that wasn’t mentioned is all of the subsidies and write offs these top 2% get not even counting the additional tax breaks. Lets be realistic here and stop with the selfish and greediness.

              1. sara says:

                Excuse me?? I am in the top 2% and a self employed entrepreneur that has worked hard and took great amount of risk without any safety net to catch me if I failed. What are the tax breaks and subs that your referring to? I’d sure like to know about them….I am tired of the tax the rich BS. I am tired of being punished for being successful on my own merit. Start saying NO to the moochers and you solve the budget problems. Why should anyone have to pay a higher percentage of their income then others? The democrats always throw out the tax the rich slogan but no one really knows what that means or gets the fact that they already carry more then their fair share of the tax burden and by continuing on this road only hurts the middle class in the long run because people like me can leave this state (and probably will) and then who is going to have to pick up the slack to fund all the handouts and programs? you, the middle class will, and a much bigger burden because we know it’s hard to cut and end programs already in existence (why do you think we’re facing what we are right now?) so go ahead and raise my taxes….I will be leaving (and I know many others plan to as well) and then by default the middle class will end up funding this huge burden while the lower class keeps getting more handouts and no share of the tax burden. People wake up already! and BK why don’t you get informed and educated about what’s going on before you make such a stupid statement. All these uninformed democrats just regurg and repeat what they have been told without really finding out the facts….

                1. rokkitman says:

                  What a pathetic whiner. I doubt you’re in the top 2%, as you claim, because you whine too much to be a serious entrepreneur. Even if you were, I know you wouldn’t leave the state over taxes, because the increase Dayton proposes (1% of your total income at 400k) isn’t enough to make anybody leave who’s actually got that sweet a gig. You need to just pipe down, go back to work and make some more millions. As if!

              2. sara says:

                Oh and by the way…..who cares how anyone has attained their wealth. If they were born into it or they worked their way into it. None of your business and it just goes to show your ignorance and class envy mentality. Instead of being jealous of others and justifying why and how you can take more from them why don’t you just focus on not what others have but on how you can make a better life for yourself and your family.

                1. sara says:

                  Who said millions? well not yet anyway. Maybe you should have first found out what income bracket the top two are in. 150K single file is in that top tier. but then again facts don’t seem to be “your thing” so lets just pretend they don’t exist and that way you can make up whatever information makes you feel better and justifies your opinion. how’s that? I bet you feel better already. OK now you can go bury your head in the sand and live in denial as we know ignorance is bliss (until reality hits and there is no where to hide). It’s easy for people to think that we should just roll over and play dead because what’s the big deal over a tax hike of 2-4%? get your calculator out and then tell me. The bigger issue is this: I am paying way more then my share already while almost half of americans don’t pay a thing! How is that even OK? it’s not and this is the end of the road for “just tax the rich so long as you don’t tax me”.

              3. Eric says:

                I agree! It’s time to stop the selfish greediness! The top 2% already pay 90% of all taxes, when is it going to be enough?
                And as far as those who “rose to the top because mommy and daddy handed them a silver spoon” do you know that the Governor is not going to raise their taxes? He wants to raise taxes ONLY on the ones who “rose to the top by working hard” Its called an INCOME TAX those who inherited their money (Like the Governor did) do not pay INCOME TAX on that money

              4. Mary Beem says:

                You mean peole like our “SILVER SPOON” Govenor?

            2. Citizen says:

              @t. Do the names Peters, Madoff, Enron, sound familiar to you?

              1. Brad says:


                Now name 10 more greedy CEO’s. Also, prove they are greedy.

                Then name as many CEO’s as you can. Go…

          3. Brad says:

            Dayton’s salary: $120,303. How convenient that it be less than $150k.

            A governor who stands behind his plan would include himself in the tax hike showing that he is in this for the people.


      2. Aaron says:

        its ok but i will answer anyway..yep, 40, plus the extra three zeros which is the difference between a million and a billion and we are talking about 40,900 per each of those people if you use the 1.8, and 35,181 if you use the 1.5 like Laron did. Either way, just the idea that you thought it would be quibbling over 40 dollars shows how very little most Americans understand our economy and sadly, plain mathematics. I just got in an arguement with my uncle who (is a conservative of course) said in response to my suggestion that we create further tax brackets (above their current 370k a year and up) for people who make more than a million, then another for people who make more than 10 million, etc. up to those who make more then a billion a year. He came back with “even if we confiscated all the wealth of the top 2% it wouldn’t even pay for a single year of our budget.” Of course, he heard a republican on Fox News (the only channel he will watch because its the only channel that conservatives can sit back and hear what they want rather than what is true) state this and just repeated it. He then went on to say our debt was trillions and asked me if I knew how much a trillion actually was in a condescending tone, and I said yeah, and he said “its a million billions!,” to which I of course angrily responded that “no, its a thousand billion!, and if we confiscated all the money of the top 2% (which is the top richest 7 million people in our country) that not only would it whipe the debt out in one swift stroke, but we would also probably have another 10 trillion to spread back out amongst the rest of the 80% – and if it was spread evenly, our economy would skyrocket based on the spending habits of the bottom 98% (basically, I consider the bottom 80% of the country to be the true “consumers” and the top 20% to be the “hoarders”), because they would turn around and put that money right back into our economy, creating profits for businesses, and when that happens, they expand (because they are greedy and want more, like anyone would) their business and that creates jobs and it spirals upwards instead of downwards! – note: no offense to whoever ? is, because even though I had to use you as an example of people who don’t even really understand the mathematics involved, and if they don’t get that, they cannot even begin to grasp the entire concept..however, I didn’t sense any real hostility in your initial post because you used your question marks. It makes a big difference because without those question marks you would have been asserting something based upon an assumption, but you figured out your mistake very quickly and corrected, so no personal offense.

    2. Dayton is giving away FREE $600K houses? says:

      Gee. $35K in additional taxes to someone with money buys a $600,000 home in Florida. If they spend 183 days in Florida (October 15 – April 18), they also don’t have to pay any Minnesota income tax on any of their income!

      It’s almost like Dayton is giving away free $600K houses to move!

      Didn’t it snow here in May this year? Don’t the Twins play baseball in Florida during the Winter anyway? If I don’t like Florida, I wonder if I’ll like Texas? There seem to be a lot of jobs in Austin. What about Arizona? I could watch the Cubs and Brewers play during the winter.

      I wonder if I could buy a nice bank-owned home for $600K? What? I could buy a much bigger home than here and pay only a fraction of the taxes I pay here? What? Property taxes are the same or less, and no or little state income taxes?

      I wonder what it takes to move my business? It’s not hard to do?

      Since Dayton appears to have moved his money out of the state already, it sounds like maybe I should move along with my money to another state and get a FREE house.

      1. Dustie says:

        Go for it and move. Just stop bashing and telling untruths about our duly elected Governor. It’s time to step up to the plate and be part of the solution instead of an ongoing problem. No one is forcing you to stay in our beautiful state so I say “go for it” and stop whining. If you are doing well, stop complaining. Many, many people are suffering and having a very difficult time even though they continue to try very hard to make it and never complain.

        1. Huxley says:

          Dustie gets it.

          1. JMJ says:

            Dustie should donate his own money instead of thinking it is ok to steal from others.

            I don’t make that kind of money, i work 2 jobs to support my family. But I am not jealous of others and want to take what is theirs.

            1. Jim says:

              JMJ, paying taxes is not stealing. It’s how we pay for roads, firefighters, and the military that protects your freedoms. There are lots of place in the world people can go and not pay taxes, like Somalia. I hear the weather is great there.

              Or if you want to stay here and not pay taxes, fine. Just stay off the roads that were paid for with taxpayer money, and don’t call the fire department if your house catches fire.

              1. Always in favor of less government says:

                They are also used to pay for people who take advantage of government subsidies and special programs when they don’t need to. Are you comfortable with baby mommas using your tax dollars to pay for manicures and high-end fashion items? Or with students taking out excess funds to buy things they don’t need then drop out and re-enroll elsewhere so they can get more funds? If people want to support these things, then hand the money you made directly to these people, but taxes aren’t the answer to pay for sloth and entitlement.

                1. Jim says:

                  I’m fine with my tax dollars helping the poor and needy. I’m not fine with poor people scamming and taking advantage of the system. I’m also not fine with rich people scamming and taking advantage of the system.

                  I’m not going to cut off all poor and needy people and let innocent children starve in the streets because some people scam the system.

        2. kell says:

          Untruths??? How about this article. The republicans DID raise taxes already. The raised them from the last budget but also along with cuts to some areas. But that wasn’t good enough for Dayton. He is dead set on taxing that 2%. I think he is also dead set on seeing the government shutdown. You should watch where you get your information as the comment is very ignorant.

          1. You tell the truth says:

            I agree your comment is very ignorant.

      2. Something to think about says:

        @ Idiot that thinks Dayton is giving you a house

  2. Norge says:

    The headline frames the question incorrectly, as it assumes it “would help”. If i’m one of those top income earners Dayton incorrectly refers to as rich, ($250,000 is rich??? He is still high on something!) would only cause me to take my earnings and leave for another state that does not punish those trying to succeed, by condemning them to the middle class no matter how successful they are or hard they work. This tax proposal doesn’t tax the rich it only taxes those trying to get rich, and thus in the process acheives Daytons goal of protecting the wealthy limosene-liberal from the competition for power from those who earned their money. Why doesn’t he tax existing wealth of the rich (like himself) at the rate of 10% instead of the annual ‘earnings’ of those trying to acheive wealth? Reason he is protecting his wealth; hence his power. This is class warfare by misdirection and deception. You want to truely tax the rich then you tax EXISTING wealth, like Daytons, not those people earning an income!

    1. Sam says:

      I’m amused at people like you who seem to think that $250,000 a year is in the middle class. My wife and I make 20% of that and we live comfortable. We have a house, a new car (though nothing extravagant in either case), and plenty of extras, like a nice TV, good insurance, etc… One year of an extra $200,000 would pay for our house and car on the spot, with enough left over to buy another car and take a vacation out of the country… and that’s only one year of that much money.
      Yes, making five times what a family needs to live comfortably is definitely rich

      1. Hard workers aren't lazy says:

        So what! What’s up with the class warfare attitude?

        Let me get this straight. So the guy who’s obviously working harder and making more money should be asked to pay a higher percentage of his income in taxes because you’re too lazy to be a more productive citizen and pay more taxes? This doesn’t sound fair, does it?

        1. julie says:

          you are already paying smaller percentage than the middle and lower class, what’s wrong with paying the same percentage as everyone else?

        2. Ignorance must be bliss! says:

          Let’s get this straight right now. Are you trying to tell us that the investment banker that sits on his backside all day and gambles with other people’s money is working harder than the construction worker? The banker maybe making $300,000 sitting in an office chair for 40 hours a week, and the construction worker maybe making $60,000 a year and he is working outside in the weather and doing a physical job for 40 hours a week. You are trying to say that the banker is working harder? If this is the view that you have of the world I can understand why you would oppose something that has nothing to do with you. Some people just have to fight and yell even though they have the dumbest ideas. You people that keep saying that just because you make more than the middle class that they are somehow working harder than us are clueless and I am done reading your idiotic posts.

      2. Sick of the rich "middle class" says:

        I’m with you Sam. My husband and I raise our 3 children in our own comfortable home on about $50,000 a year. We would love to have a year of $250,000 so we could complain about being middle class, not rich. To Hard workers aren’t lazy – who said people who make less aren’t working as hard? We can’t all be CEOs, doctors, or lawyers. We work hard for our money. In fact, I know that if we didn’t work and started collecting assistance, our standard of living would go up. Is that the answer? Let all the $250,000 hard working middle class pay for the rest of us real middle class people? Several years ago my family made about $30,000 a year at the same time as several people I know turned down $70,000 a year jobs because no one can live on that small amount of money.

        1. stubby says:

          Here’s a novel idea, why don’t you pay your fair share in taxs Sick. After you take your deduction for your 3 kids, your mortgage interest, property tax deduction, your earned-income credit, whatever medical you deducted, your car tab fee deduction, I’m willing to bet your tax due to the state was next to nothing and yet you want the “rich” to pay for your needs. Quit complainging and start paying.

          1. M B says:

            And you think the RICH aren’t taking those same deductions plus some that aren’t available to the middle class?? How big of a property tax deduction do you think they get on a $750,000 house (3x gross, like the real estate industry advocates), hmmm? Oh, it’s a heck of a lot more than what “sick” got.
            Now who’s shirking paying their dues??

            1. Chris says:

              M B, Do you do your own tax filings? The property tax deduction is eliminated (added back to the taxable amount) from your state tax deductions, so that is not the case and you are wrong. It still stands as a deduction on the Fed return, but that is not the topic here… Please use another example…

              1. Ignorance must be bliss! says:

                If you did not see M B was commenting on another post. If you are going to call someone out for this maybe you should start with the original post. Wait that is all your argument is, all you want to do is discredit someone who is saying something different than you are. Otherwise you would have post that to stubby. I know, you were both playing the bait and yell game and that you are just trolling. Hypocrisy at its finest, have to love it.

              2. VarietyIsBetter says:

                That was a very self centered statement. You know quite well that the deduction on your federal more than compensated adding it back to state. Those are very different tax rates and it only leaves this whole conversation open that so one so ignorant can make enough money to care.

        2. Marcellus Wallace says:

          “My husband and I raise our 3 children in our own comfortable home on about $50,000 a year.”

          I wouldn’t even get out of bed for a job making $50k per year, no offense intended. It would not be enough money for our family to live on.

          Between the two of us, my wife and I currently bring in about 150,000 per year, and we’re still just about paycheck to paycheck to keep things on and paid for.

          1. M B says:

            Then you’re living beyond your means and need to take a look at what you’re really spending on. Do you really need the huge house, or the super premium cable/satellite/cell phone packages? Or the expensive cars?

            There’s nothing wrong with wanting to make more money and working hard to do so, but it’s your responsibility to not spend beyond your means. Spending beyond our means and pushing the problem off for later (dependence on credit) is what got us into this mess.

            1. Marcellus Wallace says:

              You’d think so, but that’s not actually the case, M B.

              I don’t have a huge house. It’s 2400 feet on a 120×90 lot.

              I don’t even own a smart phone, an iPod, or an iPad. I don’t even have a credit card. Not one. I pay cash for everything.

              We have a 2002 minivan, and a 2001 Yukon. I have a push lawn mower that is not self-propelled. I have DirecTV with the NHL Center Ice package and HBO.

              I pay a ton in child support, and have past debts from student loans, medical bills from a severe injury, and my wife owed several thousand in back taxes when we were married.

              1. Always in favor of less government says:

                Marcellus, I’m sorry but where does M B get off telling you that you live beyond your means and what your needs are? Why should people have to justify their lifestyle or the things they have if they PAID FOR IT ON THEIR OWN! I applaud you and everyone else like you that goes out and makes a living and aspires to make even more!

                When did America become the country of once I have just enough I’ll stop striving? Nonsense! The truth is, Marcellus, the majority of people are like you and I… we work hard because we value hard work and love to see the fruits of that work. Unfortunately, it’s the bitter, jealous few who always scream the loudest and longest while the rest of us are too busy living life and trying to make more of ourselves.

            2. Chuck says:

              M B, You sure are judging of others…
              So are you in favor of socialism or maybe even communism?
              Then you will get the “fair treatment” across the board that you want!
              But, I guess that apporach hasn’t worked anywhere else either…
              Good Luck!

          2. Ignorance must be bliss! says:

            Sounds like somone needs to learn to live within their means. By the way, the I wouldn’t get out of bed for 50k a year comment does not sound like the “hard working top 2%” like others have post here. If you would not get out of bed for 50k a year how are the rest of us to believe that the people making more than the middle class are “hard working”?

            1. Marcellus Wallace says:

              I’m living within my means. You don’t know where the money I make goes, even if I itemized it for you. In your mind I’m just blowing my money on frivolous unnecessary expenditures because it makes you feel better. But that wouldn’t be the truth.

              Number 2, I’m definitely not part of the top 2%, by any stretch of the imagination. I consider myself among the working poor.

    2. yep says:

      Right on Norge. With numbers like that–stated above–not gonna happen and shouldn’t happen. Telling the upper 2%—that don’t even utilize the BIG budget items in question– to pay up–nope. Back to the drawing board and a sure thing shut down. Services need to be cut and MN is going to learn to live on less and with less. Party’s over. MN is no longer the “welfare state” starting now. Those in need…need to relocate now cuz it’s gonna get ugly.

      1. South Dakota isn't that far away says:

        People making more money are creating all of the jobs. If they’re asked to pay more, they’ll do like Dayton and move their company (and jobs) to states like South Dakota.

        1. snowman says:

          Doctors, lawyers, engineers corp executives, stocbrokers, bankers make lots of money, to the point of being wealthy but they dont create jobs

          1. stubby says:

            What a dumb statement. Have you ever been to a doctor’s office, law office? Those people working there, receptionist, lab techs, etc work there because of the doctor. Same with the law office. My wife works at a family owned bank with 3 branches and they have over 75 employees. Think before you type.

            1. Me says:

              Yes, but once those positions are filled, the opportunity for further job creation is next to none.

              1. stubby says:

                yeah, same with Target, WalMart, CVS, etc. so like I said before, dumb statement

          2. Charlie says:

            Snowman, You are drinking the cool-aid aren’t you?!
            You are wrong on all counts here… what a pipe dream!
            So the Corp Executives do not hire anybody? Then who does?
            Do you want everyone to work for the state or the feds = communism!
            Where do the companies that hire people get funding to do business?
            So the bankers (and the rest that you dislike) have no value?
            Thanks for sharing a peak into your fantasy world…

        2. Ignorance must be bliss! says:

          @ SD
          Again you GOPers bring up idiot ideas and spew lies. Dayton did not move anything, he has a blind trust fund that was set up for him. He cannot move this or do anything with it except get a check every month. The irony is that you are all the same people that are saying that the middle class is jealous of the top 2% and then you make comments like this. Pot calling the kettle black and you must be color blind. If you are going to speak you may want to know what you are talking about.

    3. Dustie says:

      Stop whining. Governor Dayton will pay is fair share in any increased taxes. You should try to live on an annual income of $40,000 for working 2 jobs – then you might have something to complain about.

      1. Nick says:

        The solution is simple. Work harder and stop expecting those who already do work harder to pull your weight for you. No one with 2 brain cells to rub together feels sorry for you and your low paying jobs.

        1. M B says:

          And you comment is narrow minded and you are promoting a detestable class elitism.

          Do you think there’s ONLY high paying jobs around? Do you think EVERYONE can be a Doctor, or Lawyer or Executive? What would our economy be with nothing but Upper professionals? Who would do the paper pushing, the jobs that no one else wants to do?

          Have you seen the price of college these days? It’s $20,000 a year to go to the U of M to improve yourself to get a better job. So, assuming they can just quit their job and go to college, which they can’t, they come out with at least $80K in debt. If you go to a private school, you pay easily twice that. And it’s going up next year due to more budget cuts by the Republicans.

          So how are these people supposed to improve themselves to get better jobs? Not everyone has the gift of a great business sense, so they have to go into some other field. So, what do they do to improve themselves and still have money to put food on the table for their family while they do so? “Just work harder!”? Sometimes that doesn’t help. Now what?

      2. Always in favor of less government says:

        I live on an income of less than $40,000, no complaints. You want to know why? Because I know that I’m a smart, hard worker and that one day I’m going to make more money… and when I get there, I don’t want it taken away.

    4. Sutton says:

      250,000 is taxable income. Think of it this was if those greedy people just gave 1 dollar to charity their taxable income would be 249,999. Then they would not pay the new tax.

      1. Marcellus Wallace says:

        False. That isn’t how that works.

  3. Christian Wait says:

    That assumes every other variable remains static. The extra taxes, especially for the highest of the high earners, could be enough to move their holdings to a more tax friendly state.

    Like Dayton has (had?) his trust fund in South Dakota because of their low taxes.

    1. Moving to save money? says:

      States directly to our west and states to our south (Florida, Texas, Arizona, South Carolina) have *significantly* lower taxes than MN and easier winters. It sounds like Governor Dayton wants people to do the math and consider moving?

      1. Citizen says:

        Yep, all the people who think living in Florida, Texas, Arizona, and South Carolina, is better than Minnesota. Please go. I’ve lived in many states, and Minnesota is the best–even during the worst of our winters. But, go and find out that the grass isn’t greener on the other side. More room here in God’s country for the rest of us who do appreciate Minnesota and want to keep its compassion, decency, and public services.

  4. pssst says:

    Here is what would help:
    1. No subsidies for illegal immigrats
    2. End the wars
    3. End the federal reserve, so we wouldn’t have to pay for interest on money created out of thin air
    4. No money for sports stadiums
    5. Cut the elected officials pay in half

    This is a good start that will save trillions, not piddly millions

    1. Richard says:

      I can live with that.

    2. Guy says:

      The only problem is that numbers 2 & 3 are FEDERAL – not state. I can live with the rest.

    3. Dave says:

      Oooo I got one! Stop paying those guys that lean on shovels and may not even have passed their G.E.D so much friggin money! We should be paying 1/4 what we do for roads and or any other construction project. How does a 1 mile stretch of highway end up costing like 30 million for some cement and steel? Must be those minimum $50k union jobs with twice as many guys on a job site as needed.

      1. Jenny99 says:

        $50K? If that were true I’d leave my job as a public employee and go do that. as it is, I would 50+ hours a week for people like you who think I am rich. I do this for $27,550 a year. There was a lot of competition for this job, but I beat out 20 other applicants mostly on the strength of having my bachelor’s degree. I take care of my two kids and my husband also works, but I’m the breadwinner in our family.

        You can be nasty and insensitive about the plights of others, but you don’t always need to share every thought that pops into your head.

  5. Kiplingers article thinks MN taxes too high already says:

    10 Tax-Unfriendly States for Retirees
    by Mary Beth Franklin
    Thursday, June 23, 2011

    State Income Tax: 5.35%-7.85%
    State Sales Tax: 6.875% (cities and counties can add another 2.65%)
    Estate Tax/Inheritance Tax: No/No

    Minnesota offers retirees cold comfort on the tax front. Social Security income is taxed to the same extent it is taxed on your federal return. Pensions are taxable regardless of where your pension was earned. Income-tax rates are high, and sales taxes can reach 9.53% in some cities. Food, clothing, and prescription and nonprescription drugs are exempt from sales taxes. The North Star State does offer some residents 65 and older who have income of $60,000 or less the option of deferring a portion of their property tax. But this is a low-interest loan, not a tax-forgiveness program.

    1. Dayton is raising taxes? says:

      Really? Minnesota is rated #2? That can’t be! If Dayton raises taxes, will Minnesota be #1?

    2. Richard says:

      Okay, and you don’t see what you get for those revenues?
      If you don’t like it here: LEAVE!
      Stop your belly-aching, pack-up, and LEAVE!!
      Go to Las Vegas, or Miami, or Phoenix. You’ll fit in just fine.
      It cost more to live here; period. If you aren’t willing to chip in on the costs, then leave and stop using up all of our services and benefits. Don’t like the sales tax, than stop supporting a new stadium.
      But please, JUST LEAVE!

      1. JMJ says:


        Maybe liberals like yourself should leave!

        1. Jim says:

          JMJ, I bet you’re a big hit on the elementary playground. How long does mommy let you use the computer?

      2. Sara Haaf says:

        Yeah, that stadium is a freaking disgrace, I think they should force the players to live here and pay the state taxes if their building and pay is funded by taxpayers.

        1. Marcellus Wallace says:

          It isn’t “their building” and you demonstrate how much the average female actually knows about the sports situation.


          1. LS says:

            Now how am I suppose to respect any of your previous comments when you crack a misogynist comment such as that?

  6. Minnesota's Governor moved his money to South Dakota says:

    Dayton’s family started Target. He’s like the rich Walton family who started WalMart. He’s got his money stashed away in tax shelters. Rumor has it his money is in a South Dakota trust fund. I wish he started by paying his fair share!

    1. Dustie says:

      Get real and stop spreading malicious rumors and bashing the duly elected Governor – like that is going to solve our budget problems created by our past Governor T-PAW. And stop all the whining.

    2. Chris says:

      Thanks for blwing the whicstle on our hypocrite Gov!!!
      How can he say that the wealthy should pay their fair share with a straight face? He is one of the richest guys in the state and avoids paying any more in taxes than we do!!! What a disgrace and all of these people believe his BS???
      The buck has to stop at his desk and he is responsible… He is disconnected and will never understand… All he says is compromise, and that is how we got to this mess… giving in and paying more oerhead for 50 years = STOP IT ALREADY!

  7. matman72 says:

    If im in the tp 2% and they want to raise my taxes i leave for greener pastures. If i leave then the money is no longer taxable in the state. if money is nolonger taxable then they might need to drop it to the top 4 or 6% in the coming years. its simple ot balance a budget. you cut spending. we all have been doiing it daily with our personal budgets.

    1. Simple budget math says:

      Cut the budget by a couple of percent. Big deal. I do this all the time at my home.

    2. Dustie says:

      I say go for your perceived greener pastures and stop whining for goodness sakes. You don’t know when you have things good :|>

      1. Citizen says:

        @Dustie. Some of these posters need to go live in southern Texas, Arizona, New Mexico, Florida. Try Miami. They’ll come CRAWLING back to Minnesota “nice.”

    3. Richard says:

      I’d prefer you take your own advice and just leave. It’s that simple.
      If you want to live in other states, and don’t find any difference in them beyond what you pay in taxes, then go there. Enjoy yourself. Most of those states have problems far worse than our budget: higher crime rates, less education, more dangerous streets.
      There is an obvious set of reasons you have chosen to live here, whatever those reasons are. If you like what we have, you have to be willing to pay for it. If you have benefited from living here and have been able to be rewarded with a higher income, then to maintain the totalality of all those things you benefit from here, then pay for them. People in those income brackets nearly always have a slew of tax benefits which reduce what they pay in state taxes. All this does is take back a small portion of those write-offs.
      If that’s too much for you, leave. I’m sure it will make room for someone else who appreciates this standard of living and society.

  8. Rico Suave says:

    Figures lie and liars figure. Anyone who believes ANYTHING this hard left media says is a fool. Judging by some of the comments here, MN is thick with fools. These fools probably didn’t notice that the article didn’t even say what percent these “rich” people pay, nor does it say what percent the spending addict in the guvs mansion wants to raise it to. Of course if you’re a “tax the rich” liberal, class warfare drone, your views amount to a mindless “tax the rich” chant and those details aren’t important. What an easy position to take. Just take the money from someone else, but not me. I make less than 50K and I don’t consider these people rich. Not even close. It’s simply liberal opportunism.

    1. Richard says:

      If you don’t like it here, LEAVE.
      No one is forcing you to stay. Try FL, or AZ, or NV. Sounds like you would like those locations far better.

      1. Citizen says:

        Maybe Rico should go back to Miami.

    2. Ignorance must be bliss! says:

      Rico Suave
      I see that you are crying about not having enough info yet you do not give any yourself. You are crying like this and then you expect someone else to do the homework for you? This and you still call “liberals” lazy and wanting hand outs? No irony here at all and I would like to thank you for setting the record straight. I wish they did not sensor these posts so much so I could tell you what I really think.

  9. As jack said... says:

    Corporate tax and personal income tax are two different things people. People with high personal income do not create jobs but in fact benefit the most from this society. Most their wealth is derived from non labor production means i.e. stocks, investments, income made from property ownership. In short nothing that requires the individual to report for work or punch a clock but what is called passive income so the worker harder argument not relevant here. The wealthy did nothing to gain this income but yet derive the most benefit from this economic system. Those that benefit the most SHOULD PAY THE HIGHEST TAX.RATE.

    1. pssst says:

      If it’s so passive and easy to do, why haven’t you done it?

      The things you stated take risk and worry. I guess the people who lose sleepless nights trying to make their lives wealthier should hand it over to wonderful people like you because you think it’s unfair that they have a bigger mailbox than you.

      1. Ignorance must be bliss! says:

        Another person that cannot read what is print. I find no place in the last post that said it was “easy” to do yet you added those words for him. The other thing is that most people cannot do this as they live paycheck to paycheck and cannot gamble with 10k. I would love to “lose sleepless nights” as you post as well as this would mean that you get to sleep. Which problem would you rather have?
        1. Having to make the decision of putting food on the table or paying for the insurance for the upcoming month.
        2. Having the 10k in disposable income lost because of a gamble in the stock market.

    2. Rico Suave says:

      Thou fool. You and Jack obviously haven’t thought much about this. Money begets money. If a “rich” guy has money, he isn’t stuffing it in his mattress. He’s either buying stuff he or his family wants or needs, or maybe putting his kids through college, or employing a pool guy or a lawn maint. crew, or a golf club grounds crew, or a luxury car dealer, or a high end waiter, chef, etc, all the way down to the busboy. Or his or her money is in the stock market which invests in companies who hire people, or it’s in a bank account, which the bank pays interest on so they can use it to lend to home buyers and developers and car buyers and God only knows who and what else. To say that personal wealth doesn’t create jobs and fuel the economy is so far removed from reality, shooting sown your silly argument is like shooting fish in a barrel. My tiny number of examples don’t even scratch the surface of how many ways “the rich” actually benefit the economy.

      1. Richard says:

        Or, … he’s investing in new business in China or India, or putting his children through higher-cost colleges out of state; or, it’s in a bank offshore, or he owns other homes in other states that don’t have a state sales tax due to gambling income, and stays there six months and two days so (s)he can claim that as their home state and NOT pay any MN state tax.
        As for ‘money begets money’; that means for that person, not the community.
        I am saying that personal wealth doesn’t create jobs and fuel the economy. We have heard that worn-out line of tripe for ten years. In all that time,” WHERE’S THE JOBS?” Where did all that money saved go to? It went to offshore investments. It’s conservative slight-of-hand, non-sense, bold-faced misleading lies. WHERE’S THAT JOB CREATION PROMISED BY ALL THOSE CONSERVATIVES FOR TEN YEARS? Your mantra is old, and easily seen through.

        1. Rico Suave says:

          So you’re saying that in addition to creating hundreds of jobs locally for the things and services the rich have to buy locally, they’re fueling the economies of other states which have low taxes and prices, as well as creating jobs in other countries by investing there too? Wow, I guess the rich aren’t just shouldering the local burden, they’re actually stoking the economy of the whole world. So why are they hated so much?

          1. M B says:

            It’s because some rich people are rich because they don’t spend. I know a billionaire. She’d rather stuff it in her mattress than spend it. How does that figure into your “trickle down theory”? Reagan tried that, and it didn’t work for anyone but the upper class. Bush (both of them) tried that and it only benefited the upper class. Take a look at where we are now. Really take a look. Most of it is due to Republican policies. Even the tax rates are due to them. Go here:
            And look prior to Reagan’s tax slashing for the rich in 1986. Then tell me who’s shouldering the burden in this country now..

      2. Reasonable says:

        Ahh yes the trickle down fallacy!
        How does this sound instead? If the investors of major corporations would be willing to take 1% less rate of return, the average wage in the US would go up by more than 3%. With that extra money in the hands of the real producers (the employees, not the employers) more consumer level activity would happen as opposed to investor level activity. Consumer activity drives the economy, investor activity increases wealth at the top and does little if anything to stimulate the economy.

        Evidence? The dow is closing regularly at 80-90% of it’s highest ever close and has been doing so for the better part of a year now. So, where are the jobs? Investment is back to normal, but investors have realized that they can squeeze more production out of the workers who are afraid to lose their jobs. All the while increasing the margin of profit. If they’d be willing to take less profit by margin, they could easily make up for it by volume! Unless of course you think the Bush tax cuts (make less tax revenue by margin because the increase in tax revenue volume will make up for it) are equally false, then you can’t argue against it!

  10. Meg in Minneapolis says:

    Some posts reveal attitudes I view as problematic for voting citizens. Examples: (1) People who earn less than those in the top 2% have been lazy, and are not working hard enough. (2) If taxed at a higher rate, the rich people will be “condemned” to the middle class. (3) Someone earning $250,000 is not rich (even though they are making 5 times a middle class income!!) “Justice for all” is a banner for our country. And our taxation system is, at this time, not one of justice for all…because someone with a middle class income is taxed at the same rate as a wealthy person.

    1. stubby says:

      But you fail to mention by the time the “middle class” takes all of the tax deduction available to them, they owe next to 0 on their state taxes. These deductions are not available to the “wealthy” who, by the way, pay almost 40% of the state income tax.

      1. Richard says:

        Good! You can afford to. Don’t like the taxes here? LEAVE! MOVE!
        What a bunch of freeloaders.

        1. nobody says:

          Really i get tax deductions and owe 0 on my state taxes…i’m considered middle class and i have paid into my state taxes for the last few years and i have children at home so tell me who pays their fair share….but yet i know people who collect state benefits (welfare) and they get a refund of thousands of dollars at the end of the year, so you tell me whats fair

      2. Reasonable says:

        So they pay almost 40% of the state income tax. What’s the other part of the story that you’re leaving out? Oh yes, what percentage of the state income do they earn?

  11. Mel says:

    WOW, I thought with all this talk about top 2% we wee talking about millionaires. 150K is far from rich. This tax would hit every small business in Minnesota.

    1. Richard says:

      Just another right-wing mantra.
      It would be different if all those small businesses offered the same healthcare benefits to their employees that they do to their owners; but they don’t.
      This increase will help level that issue.
      If you own a small business in MN, and I do, put up or shut up. Don’t like the taxes here? MOVE! LEAVE! I’m so tired of this lame argument. Small business is doing just fine here. It yours is not, then maybe it’s time you adjust your business or how you run it. Go move it to MS, or AR, or FL, AZ or NV. There’s reasons you located here. If you want those reasons, pay your share.

      1. Rico Suave says:

        No you leave. I’m staying to fight these clowns who want to take my rights and property.

        1. Always in favor of less government says:


      2. Citizen says:

        @Richard. I agree with you. There is the case of one local fairly large Minnesota business that thought moving to Texas was the answer–until it hired Texas workers and found out that Minnesotans work twice as hard! After losing money, it closed the Texas operation. It’s still in Minnesota and still producing.

        1. JMJ says:

          By looking at this post, I am starting to think that Richard doesn’t work. Or his employer might be a little angry knowing he wasn’t doing his job.

          PS. I am on my break

        2. Rico Suave says:

          BTW, for at least the last couple years Texas has created half of all the new jobs in the country. Maybe the business you’re referring to was a law firm trying to recruit victims for class action suits. Those businesses don’t do well in Texas anymore. I’m in the semiconductor business and tons of operations are fleeing California and Washington and relocating in Texas. Texas is booming. Lower taxes, less litigation, less regulation, booming economy. Go figure.

          1. Citizen says:

            Npe, the business is the last of its kind in the U.S. and still surviving to produce a product that is now almost exclusively made in third-world sweatshops. And Minnesota workers keep it going!

            1. Rico Suave says:

              What’s the business, basket weaving with hemp?

              1. Citizen says:

                @Ah, Rico. No it is not. It is a business that pays its people well with good benefits. But I do not feel comfortable spreading its name to the likes of you because the owners are friends.

                1. Rico Suave says:

                  Smells like bovine scatology to me. I think you’re full of it. Who wouldn’t want their biz name all over the place. Unless it’s nefarious or illegal that is.

          2. Me says:

            Texas is also notorious for looking the other way when illegals are on the payroll. After all, an illegal would like a $7.80 an hour job when an authorized person would expect a living wage.

          3. Sara Haaf says:

            don’t forget the poor air quality because of the nearly non-existent regulations!

          4. Always in favor of less government says:

            Here is an example to back you up: I worked for a division of Medtronic that moved the headquarters from Los Angeles to San Antonio.

        3. Eric says:

          If that’s true, then name the business! No name = BS!

  12. Bill Clinton says:

    Will the pitchfork crowd begin attacking the top 10% next year? The top 25% perhaps? Lets just get this thing started and have the bottom 51% attack the top 49%. America is doomed. Civil war is just around the corner.

  13. lisa227 says:

    What the hell do you consider rich? Really? 150,000 i could buy a house and a car and thats just one year. Its obvouis people in this state really don’t care about people that don’t make as much money. There fine with the fact that people who work hard and sacrfic and still will never make 150,000 . May they should just pay a lump sum and send us poor folk somewhere since we are such a bother. People just think of themselves damn if you cant spair extra making 150,000 maybe you shouldn’t be making that much money to begain with.

    1. kevin says:

      I made 126k and paid 63k in taxes, what the hell do you want?

      1. Reasonable says:

        I want you to hire me as your accountant so I can help you make $126k and pay maybe $30-40k in taxes at best.

        Seriously, if you have a 6 figure income and you’re paying almost 50% in taxes, you’re doing something VERY wrong. H&R Block and Turbo Tax won’t be able to do your taxes for you…

        1. Ignorance must be bliss! says:

          Kevin is just a troll that has nothing real to say. In the last story he post that he has 6 homes and that none of them had property tax increases in the TPaw years. As stated, will say anything to start a fight, or he is just an idiot that actually believes himself. Not sure which is the better of the 2.

      2. Me says:

        What are you claiming throughout the year as deductilbes? Twelve? I agree with Reasonable, you need a new accountant.

        1. Marcellus Wallace says:

          I made 114,500 and barely made the money last from paycheck to paycheck from paying the bills. And I don’t mean frivolous ones. I’m talking a mortgage payment, 1 car payment (other was bought for 3000 cash) and gas, electric, insurance, child support, etc. And that isn’t including my wife’s 35k contribution.

          It’s not as much money as you seem to think. I claim 0 on my taxes.

          1. Reasonable says:

            MW – Do yourself a claim a higher amount on your taxes. If you’re living check to check with that salary and your “limited luxuries” then you’re doing something very wrong.

    2. Citizen says:

      $150,000 is the amount for a single taxpayer; it’s $250,000 for a couple–those are the incomes where Dayton’s tax would start. If you as a single person making $150,000 cannot kick in a little extra, well, try living on WalMart wages. That means you can MAYBE own a car (old, minimal insurance), you will be renting (probably sharing with roommates), walking or taking public transportation if available. I remember one young man, a worker at WalMart, who was saving to buy a $15 video game he really wanted. I was a friend of the family. I just went and purchased the game for him for a Christmas present. Saving to buy a $15 game. That is ridiculous, when I know the top 2% of Minnesotans spend that on a lunch tip. Greed.

      1. Rico Suave says:

        If Kevin makes 126K and they take half, one could assume that the one making 150K would pay even more. THAT’S HALF. Talk about greed. I think it’s theft. Your Walmart argument doesn’t fly either. Anyone who expects to make a living working at Walmart is unwise. It’s a perfectly good place to start out, and learn to be of value to an employer, before you can or should demand a middle class lifestyle. I don’t know too many people who didn’t start out with a similar paying job. You then prove yourself and move on to better things. When I started out on my own after dropping out of high school at 17, I rented a dump in North Mpls for dirt cheap. I got a roommate and took the bus to work for a couple years, proved myself to my employer, got raises only after I deserved them, and over the years improved my station in life greatly, raising a family, having a nice house and enough to live decently. I never thought I was a victim either because I didn’t start out in the middle class. There are too many people who have proved that anyone can start out with nothing and make it in America. If you can’t make here, you can’t make anywhere!

        1. ICE officer says:

          Hey, Rico, did you get your green card along the way?

          1. Rico Suave says:

            Rico Suave is really my alias. It sounds cooler than Sven Olsen. I’m just a plain old white redneck like you. I use the Mexican alias so the media censors will post my comments. Works like a charm. Rico Suave rides! Stay thirsty my friends.

            1. ICE officer says:

              @Rico. Well I am not an old white redneck, so your bigoted response is wrong. Guess who I am?

              1. Rico Suave says:

                I don’t care who you are. But if you’re an ICE officer, I wish you’d quit sitting on your arse and start doing your job. If you’re an illegal yourself, I’d like to offer you a ride back to the border. I’m here to help.

                1. ICE officer says:

                  @Rico. Please report to the Bloomington ICE office behind the Mall of America and offer those free rides. Your government is counting on you!

                2. Rico Suave says:

                  Just let me know if I should bring a van or a bus. Rico Suave rides!

        2. Citizen says:

          @Rico. Wrong. Living in Dubai sounds pretty good! I think everyone gets a cut of the oil revenues.

          1. Rico Suave says:

            Kind of like Alaska huh?

  14. sabrina says:

    What happened to caring about our community? You people are ranting about about someone who might be your child’s favorite teacher, your grocery clerk, your pastor. I hope the people who comment on this site with such negativity are a very small minority of the general population. I would hope that most of us, whether we make $30,000/year or $300,000/year, would care about the quality of life and well-being of our neighbors. Healthy communities need all socioeconomic levels of people.

    1. stubby says:

      We do care. I just think everyone who enjoys this community should help pay for it and not expect the top 10% to pay for it. Tax everyone, not just the “wealthy” Keep in mind 48% of MN families pay no state income tax.

      1. Citizen says:

        @stubby. Once again we will disagree. Someone who is making minimum wage barely has money for food and shelter–heaven forbid they can afford health insurance. They can’t afford to pay much more than they do. But, everyone does pay some tax; it is just that after deductions during the once a year filing with the IRS–a lot of people get money back. Remember, that is only once a year. Those workers are still paying out of pocket every pay period and have to prove once a year that they should have some money sent back. I challenge all the posters on this page to get a WalMart job and then pay payroll taxes, Minnesota care tax, SS tax, Medicare tax all year and live on the remainder until tax time. Those workers only get a portion of the income tax back–not the rest. So, yes, they do pay taxes. Go on. I challenge all of you “well-off” apologists for the GOP to live on WalMart wages. Then let me know how that works for you.

        1. stubby says:

          Citizen, I think you and I want the same thing but disagree on how to get there. If the state wants to continue to spend and spend, it’s unfair to think that the so-called rich should pay for everything. How is it that low income wage earners get a state refund larger than what was held out? Tax credits, etc is the reason. People need help, I understand that, but when you have more people taking from the system and they contribute, you have a problem.

          1. Me says:

            The rich aren’t being asked to pay for everything, just pay their fair share.

      2. Reasonable says:

        Let’s not forget that the lower class tends to pay more of their income in sales taxes, gets a rental credit for property tax, can’t write off mortgage interest, doesn’t have the chance to invest, etc…

        Being poor and being on assistance isn’t some extravagant free ride. Living on $250k and paying $80k in taxes is still a hell of a lot better than living on $15k and not paying taxes…

  15. cj says:

    This idea of Robin Hood steal from the rich and give to the poor Is a joke .We have made the people of this Country lazy and depent on hand outs.I am sick of watching lazy people useing the rest of us that are hard workers .Drive down the road and you see ten guys standing around holding shovles or take a look at all the waste when you walk into a goverment bluiding .We as a country have become the land of entitlements.

    1. Citizen says:

      @cj. You are an embarrassment. U.S. workers are the hardest workers in the world–working upwards of 50 to 60 hours per week, and that has been a steady climb since the Reagan years. They are also the most productive–surpassing even the Japanese. Go read some statistics. And what waste do you see in a government building? For the most part I see old buildings built of stone and granite that don’t need a lot of maintenance–unlike the WalMart, Menard’s, strip mall buildings that are built to be replaced every 30 years and have flat roofs that leak. I’m proud of the beautiful state and federal buildings. I’m sure if it were up to the likes of you, the White House and Washington D.C’s buildings were be flat-roofed and made of tin. Our forefathers built those buildings to tell the world we were a great nation. What do you want to do? Let them fall down? Next, you’ll complain about standing in line for a passport, or marriage license, or tabs for your car, even at the same time you complain about all the government workers. Get a grip!

      1. cj says:

        You must be on the goverment payroll.When you walk into a goverment bluiding all you see people acting as if there doing far as the most productive workers in the world that would explain why we as a country have an obesty problem. I would bet if we out sourced the goverment workers jobs we would get better service and with less .

        1. Guy says:

          And I would bet that if we simply got rid of most of the regulations that required government permission (aka LICENSES) for everything it would be even more productive, not have to stand in line at all & we would have a freer society to boot.

        2. Citizen says:

          @cj. I am a retired federal employee who worked extremely hard to keep the country safe from terrorists for the likes of you and Guy. Looking at your posts, I feel betrayed for my hard work and keeping you safe just so you can criticize and make fun of my work. For your right to post garbage and nonsense, you can thank a soldier–a GOVERNMENT employee. For the freedom to travel to other countries with U.S. protection–thank a state department employee and the CIA and the FBI. I don’t need to go on. All the government employees behind the scenes that keep you safe and your world in order so you can be stupid and myopic. I’m guessing you could never pass a background investigation to work in government.

  16. Entitled says:

    We need to concentrate our arguments on “entitlements” and not who makes this much and who makes that much and what they can and can’t buy with it and if they should or should not move out of the state. I think it’s pretty clear that most of us don’t want to provide “entitlements” to immigrants that move from Somalia to MN–well, cuz they aren’t entitled to anything–only in Somalia are they entitled to something. Ha! What? If they feel “entitled”–let’s let them form their own charity that they can name ” Free Tickets Home”. I’m gonna get in trouble with you all for singling out the Somalians so let’s just call that GENERIC— a generic allowance of a greater immigrant population. But, do we feel that way about MN’s residents in nursing homes, group homes, and hospitals? That’s the question? Who should be “entitled”? If we fix that, we–maybe—would have a lot less to argue about.

    1. lisa227 says:

      I do agree with that. why are we supporting immagrats? why do the get to come here and dont have to pay any taxes for 5 years? they get good paying jobs and send the money back to where they come from. Instead of paying there share of taxes where they live.

  17. Bill says:

    Why should 44,000 people support all the lazy, useless people. Why doesn’t everybody pay 10%, I don’t care if you make 20K, everybody should be paying and nobody should get free ride. I have worked my whole life from the age of 14 and it’s my money not yours. Cut the welfare for all the people that use there welfare cards in Hawii, explain that to me.

    1. Reasonable says:

      Hello Bill,
      Before you commit to the notion of a flat tax being fair, take one second to think about the number of people making $20-25k a year in income to pay the same 10% of income of say Joe Mauer? I’m guessing here but let’s say he makes $7,000,000 per year, pays $700,000 in taxes, $20k guy pays $2k in taxes, so you’ll need roughly 3,500 people at a normal wage to pay for one guy’s “fair flat tax”.

      It simply doesn’t work Bill.

      1. VarietyIsBetter says:

        This is exactly why equity never occurs. Clearly you make too much money as you worry about a 10% “fair” tax then the tax you must pay now after deductions.
        That is the true problem with out tax system; all the loopholes favor those that make so much money that dumping a few million in a tax shelter means nothing. Life is still wonderful and taxes are nothing.
        It is time that both the feds and state tax at a fixed tax rate. And by the way, the state should not be living on 10%, maybe 6 or 7% is more reasonable. Don’t forget they already steal from us through the lottery and sales tax and property tax.
        A fixed tax is the utopia considering we will never get rid of the thieves in government. We would know what we have to pay up front; everyone would pay an equal share to what they earn (even the welfare leaches); we could plan our lives knowing what will happen when tax time comes; we wouldn’t need nearly the thousands that are employed to figure, audit, recover taxes (reducing government cost); even the rich who some of you think is evil will pay the same amount dollar-for-dollar. There would be no deductions for any of us so being successful would not be a sin and being poor would not be a virtue to condemn everyone else. Every dollar made would be 7 cents for the government. Period.
        The other side is the government will now and forever live within their means. No more pointing fingers at the other party. No more moving money from one fund to another to temporarily cover their lack of funds. No more promises of new programs on a good day that can’t be payed for tomorrow. Basically no more. The income is to be fixed; no games when life is as bad as it is now. The government is not our primary concern nor does it need to survive unscathed when 25-30% of the rest of us are suffering.
        It is time government is not above us but part of us, among us, suffering with us. The lip service from the congress and administration must come to an end.

  18. Citizen says:

    @Entitled & lisa227. Immigrants? Unless you are Native, you are all immigrants in America. Do you remember how the Irish were treated when they fled to America from the potato famine in Ireland? The Irish were treated terribly and starved and struggled and taken advantage of. No social services for them. The answer is not to treat people badly once they’re in America–the answer is to close the borders. I can guarantee that as long as corporations want CHEAP LABOR, that will not happen. So taxpayers will subsidize still more corporate cheap labor.

    1. Entitled says:

      Okay Citizen–but that’s exactly my point. I AM MINNESOTAN, born and bred. I pay my taxes here and I own a home and call MN my home. I don’t expect anything for it. I make my own way to have it. In your example, the Irish, you’re right. They fled and didn’t expect anything for it. I’m certainly not saying–treat people bad. I just think “entitlements” or the loose structure of “entitlements” needs to be TIGHTENED. And I mean, pull the strings on that purse and tie it up.

    2. Marcellus Wallace says:

      Immigrants are people who leave their country to come here. I am not “a native”, but I was born here, so I’m no immigrant. Period.

      1. Citizen says:

        Defensive, Marcellus? Feeling guilty about the land grab your ancestors made?

        1. CITIZEN IS AN IDIOT says:

          cit·i·zen [ síttiz’n ]
          legal resident of country: somebody who has the right to live in a country because he or she was born there or has been legally accepted as a permanent resident
          county, town, or city dweller: a permanent resident of a county, town, or city
          civilian: somebody who is not a member of the armed forces, a police officer, or a public official
          YOU SHOULD CHANGE YOUR HANDLE YOU IDIOT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    3. CITIZEN IS AN IDIOT says:

      cit·i·zen [ síttiz’n ]
      legal resident of country: somebody who has the right to live in a country because he or she was born there or has been legally accepted as a permanent resident
      county, town, or city dweller: a permanent resident of a county, town, or city
      civilian: somebody who is not a member of the armed forces, a police officer, or a public official

  19. Citizen says:

    @Entitled. You need to get some perspective. First of all, I don’t know what you mean by entitlements, but if you mean social services, I don’t think the clock is going to be turned back to the 1930’s. Or, the well-off people in this country better go live in gated communities. Tighten welfare rules? Tell those single mothers to starve their babies? I can tell you have never experienced the means tests used by social services for people who need that help. As a conservator for an elderly person, I dealt with them. I find it hard to believe that anyone can cheat. And dealing with the paperwork required every bit of MY college education. It was a disgusting process for minimal support. I really don’t think there are very many welfare cheats out there. As for the immigrants, unless you send them packing, you will have the same problem with feeding and providing housing. As I said, the only solution once the barn door is open, is to close the door (the borders). Good luck getting corporate American weaned off cheap labor.

    1. Entitled says:

      Ha! Hey Citizen, I wish I could continue this conversation but I need to go get some perspective….from my full-time job IN HUMAN SERVICES!! Yep, that’s right I work for DHS so I’m certain I don’t have a clue of what entitlements are, where the starving babies are and I certainly have no clue about that paperwork you were talking about that ultimately ends up in “minimal support’. Okay, gotta go get some perspective.

      1. Citizen says:

        It is very disturbing to me that with your attitude you are working for the Dept. of Human Services. Perhaps with your dismal view of people (and your job?), it is time for you to retire and get some perspective on living on less money. Did my barb about the disgusting DHS paperwork bother you? It should. The DHS people I interacted with at the local level were pretty unhelpful and unsympathetic. I often thought my elderly ward should have just died because her existence so inconvenienced the likes of you!

    2. Guy says:

      How about tell single mothers not to have more babies if they can’t support the ones they have? Have a kid while on welfare – get spayed (and be required to ID the father so that he can be neutered). Act like animals in heat; get treated like same.

      As for fixing means testing – fix all the fraud :

      The numbers given here are 1.67 BILLION (2009 numbers). This is almost enough to cover Gov. Goggleyes extra budget request.

      And the immigrants – yes send them back to where they came from if they can’t support themselves.

      1. VarietyIsBetter says:

        Maybe you could explain why single mothers would want more babies when they can’t support the ones they have?? Perhaps you are just a leach that can’t find satisfaction unless the woman is depressed or has low self esteem. Are you supporting the babies you created when assaulting these women?

      2. LS says:

        What you’re suggesting: (requiring women on welfare to be spayed and the men that father their children to be neutered) would be another government program that would require more tax dollars. As you might know this procedure is somewhat invasive for a women. It would require surgery, recovery time and would be very expensive. The best solution is education. A good education is paid for by tax dollars. I feel sad that people who have accidents and get pregnant would be considered by anyone to be: “Animals in heat”.

  20. Just sayin' says:

    Wow, I am enjoying all the comments….finally some of you are getting to the heart of the matter….for gosh sakes, do the middle and upper class (however you determine them to be) have to pay for everything. The argument was made that about 50% of the population pays no tax……People, that is no tax! Lower income or not, it costs money to live. Everyone should pay. That would solve so many problems. Sad but true, let’s just nail all the middle and upper folks and let the rest ride. That should tick everybody off and start to make us all think that there is a better solution than just nailing us already paying alot of taxes even more and letting the “have nots” ride for free!

    1. Citizen says:

      @Just saying’. The middle class pretty much pays for everything or did you miss the conservation credits given to many thousands of extremely wealthy Americans (such as a Rockefeller) to keep agricultural land from producing? Diane Sawyer reported these payments on the Wednesday night news. It was very interesting. Millions of dollars to millionaires. No, the middle class pays for everyone, but as the middle class is being decimated by U.S. tax code revisions starting with Reagan, and decimated by jobs sent overseas, the middle class is asking the wealthy to kick in a little–and they’re screaming, no, because they still don’t have enough. You would think they would have a little class and at least forgo the millions in conservation payments.

  21. Amenda says:

    How about the state STOP SPENDING!!!! If I cannot afford something, I don’t buy it. The “rich” should not have to pay for most of the government that they do not even use. I think Dayton should give all of his estate to the MN gov’t. Stop taking money and STOP SPENDING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    1. Reasonable says:

      Dear lord you’re so confused.
      Govt spending is not like your home budget. Your home budget doesn’t keep 6,000+ seniors and veterans alive and cared for in public hospitals. Nor does it pay for meals for thousands of children who would otherwise be malnourished while attending public schools. Well there’s another one, your household budget doesn’t pay for the couple hundred thousand kids in school, so that they can get educated and hopefully some day make something of themselves. Your household budget might have to delay repaving your driveway, but it doesn’t have to pay for keeping how many miles of road safe just in the 94 loop?

      So let’s just stop spending on all of that. Let’s have stupid children that are hungry, let’s have elderly dying in the streets, let’s have road buckling that totally clogs traffic on our highways not get fixed, let’s have cops and fire just take some time off, let’s just have general anarchy because you think not having it costs a bit too much.

      1. stubby says:

        Reasonalble you’re wrong. My household budget does pay for everything you just mentioned…..I’m forced to pay for it, the state takes it right out of my pay.

      2. Guy says:

        OK; lets try some other analogies between state & family budgets::

        Food for school kids = feed family (necessity; agreed)
        Housing & medical for seniors & vets = family house & medical (necessity; agreed)


        New Viks stadum = ticket to game (optional; CUT)
        Funding for arts = ticket to opera (optional; CUT)
        Welfare for immigrants = charity donation to foreigners (optional; CUT)

        See – its called PRIORITIZING. Pay for what is NEEDED – not what is WANTED.
        Wants always exceed needs. Learn the difference.

        1. Reasonable says:

          Stubby, while you may pay $10 per meal or whatever for your family, how much of your taxes do you really think goes to EBT/Foodstamps or whatever as a percentage of the whole? You may contribute about $0.18 to the program out of your entire taxes paid. Is that really too much? If so, you’re kind of a jerk.

          As opposed to “spending” on a Vikes stadium, we offer a tax deferment. I mean really, that’s a LOT of cash that goes in and out of that building 10 times a year as well as events (only outdoor stadium we’ll have since TCF and Target Field have stated that concerts aren’t a priority, or even much more than an interest) and hopefully more uses. The Metrodome gets used more than 200 days a year so hopefully Ziggy’s toy can get used for more than games.

          Funding for arts? See how many nice cultural establishments SD has with their low/no taxes? Is that somewhere you want to live? Sorry, but we have culture in MN, let’s keep it that way. I’ll agree with reduced spending, but never with a full cut.

          Welfare for Immigrants? Legal or illegal? If they’re illegal, well they’re illegal so it’s fraud and they need to go away. If they’re legal, well my grandparents came here with nothing after WWII and within two generations we’ve become decent middle class citizens. Your xenophobia, while charming, is silly and you should just get over it. If we invest in people, instead of booting them out if they show up with nothing, then you’ll have naturalized citizens with civic pride.

          I agree with prioritizing, but the problem is that we all have different priorities…

          1. Eric says:

            Let’s cut the BS! You know very well that when people talk about cutting benefits to “immigrants” they are talking about the illegal immigrants! To pretend not to get that just makes you look stupid.
            Let’s get all of the illegal immigrants out of the country.
            We don’t have to deport them, (so don’t even start that childish whining) just stop all of the benefits that they are getting, and start prosecuting employers that employ them. If we do that, the criminals will leave on their own!

  22. KateUST99 says:

    Here’s what I took from the article: “We have about 2.4 millions taxpayers in Minnesota.” Um … we have 5.3 million residents, according to the census bureau ( So, why are only HALF of Minnesotans paying taxes?

    My solution is to completely do away with income tax and put a state-wide sales tax of 9% on EVERYTHING. If I could keep my entire paycheck (minus deductions for federal income tax, insurance, etc), I’d have a lot more money to spend. If I am spending more money and paying taxes on everything I buy, the state will make more than they take for my income taxes.

    And that, my friends, is how you get EVERYONE to pay their “fair share.”

    1. Reasonable says:


      Take a quick look at your chart. So 50% of people don’t pay taxes? Ok, well based on your chart there 6.9% are under 5 years of age. Child labor law prevents them from paying taxes on income now wouldn’t it? So now we’re at 43.1% lazy welfare recepients right? Oh but according to the same chart 23.9% are under the age of 18. Granted you can get a job at 16, but you’re probably making less than a few grand working at Burger King during the summer. So my math says 43.1 minus 23.9 puts us at 19.2% of the population is freeloading. Oh darn, 12.7 percent of the population is over 65, likely receiving social security and paid taxes for 45 or so years of their lives so that YOU could have an education and live in a safe place etc… So now we’re at 7.5% of the population not paying income taxes.
      So what’s the current unemployment #’s? Right around 6.5% from what I recall.

      So there you have it. 1% of the population is freeloading. Sure wish they’d pay their share. Or maybe they’re disabled, or maybe they’re in prison, or maybe they’re a stay at home parent who has a spouse that has a job, or maybe they’re just a loser who wants to live for free on maybe $800 a month of govt assistance.

      Or maybe you’re just wrong?

      1. Justaguy says:

        One of the best posts I’ve read in a long time. Keep posting please!!!

        1. Reasonable says:

          Well, when it comes to pointing out flawed thinking or taxing 4 year olds, I come down on flawed thinking…

  23. kevin says:

    You know exzctly what people are saying about entitlments Qiut acting stupid. Tax payers in this state are tired of the freeloaders that the state has created by tossing tax payer money to anyone showing up at the welfare dept. without being legal,welfare eligible ,proof of residency.When my wife and i were going thru the process of adoption we Had to go downtown St. Paul to the welfare dept on several ocations. Why was it that parked in front of the building were Lincoln’s and Cadilac’s waiting for the prostitutes to come out with there welfare checks. You and your kind can keep enabling these kind of people but the resonsible people of this will not have anything to do with this any more.The stste must start to require continous oversite of all receiving benifits and clean up the system.

    1. Citizen says:

      @kevin. I am not acting stupid. You and your fellow posters NEVER address what you are going to do with all these needy people–legitimate and illegitimate. So, if someone is caught cheating on welfare–what happens? Care to enlighten me? I’m guessing they turn to a life of crime or even worse peddling themselves or their child/children on the street. Is that what you want? The old adage of letting a criminal go free rather than convicting an innocent man applies here. Children caught up in the system are innocent. Deny them food and shelter because their parent is a crook? Frankly, you are nuts. All I can say is the wealthy are winning the class war, and they better start building gated communities because the Bastille could happen here, too. People see the wealth they know they can never have. They see the clothing and cars and things they can never have, and then they decide to take it. “Entitlements” are part of a civilized culture. Or would you rather see beggars in the streets like in Turkey and India?

  24. sabrina says:

    @ kevin and cj…..You two are perfect examples of how this country is not spending enough money on education. I propose that we increase the amount spent on spelling/grammar teachers by 100%. Wow, reading your posts is painful!!!

    1. Citizen says:

      @sabrina. Unfortunately, sabrina, you need something to work with–in kevin’s & cj’s cases, that is not so much…..

  25. kevin says:

    Sabrina your welfare checks are killing me.

  26. Citizen says:

    And, kevin & cj, your lack of compassion and intelligence is disturbing.

  27. kevin says:

    Citizen , we have been experimenting wth com passion since the 60’s What has it got us deeper in dept, more crime,more welfare . It’s turnig systemic. It’s time to ween people of easy hand outs. Can they not aleast work for there hand outs? When the bank is empty then what? Give aperson a fish, he eats for a day Teach him to fish , he will feed himself a life time.

    1. Citizen says:

      Actually, kevin, this country has been practicing compassion since the 1930’s with the enactment of the New Deal. Before that everyone was pretty much on their own, and we know how well the Depression worked out, don’t we. Want to go back to those times? My parents and grandparents lived through them and they were 120% for compassion and the working people of the U.S. My grandmother fed the beggars that rode the rails from her kitchen door. Do you want to return to those years? What do you think will happen to your comfortable lifestyle or even your grandchildren in such a world? Try to think a little; I know it may hurt. You might even have to read a book or two. Try Studs Terkel’s book Hard Times, or Wm. Hull’s book The Dirty Thirties. Read about the days of no social services net for people. Then come back and post. But, I know you don’t want to leave your comfortable world and your prejudices, so I know you won’t read about a vastly different world which you seem to state your want to return to.

      1. Rico Suave says:

        BS! FDR prolonged the depression and the war spending helped end it. Why don’t you read book. Go ahead and enlarge your precious safety net some more. Half the country is using it for a trampoline already. See if things get any better. Safety net my arse. People don’t fall into the net, they jump. We’re sick of paying to catch people who need 99 weeks of unemployment. Cut em off! I’m just the mean old conservative who would throw that switch.

        1. Citizen says:

          Go back to Miami, Rico. War spending alone did not cure the Depression. And FDR’s policies kept a lot of people from starvation. Then go read some history of the U.S. Tax Code which will tell you a lot more about what caused and ended the Depression. I know you will never believe me when I tell you one of the main causes was the lowering of income taxes on the wealthy. During the Eisenhower era when the richest Americans were taxed at 91% (in order to pay for WWII), we had a great expansion of the middle class and prosperity. Throughout American history when taxes have been significantly lowered on the richest, recessions have followed. You see, the U.S. economy is consumer driven and the middle class consumers just don’t have much money left to spend after carrying the tax burden for the poor and the wealthy and the corporations, and then continue to have had their jobs outsourced. Go read the Dismal Political Economist and online. I think you can find them. Get an education. You said you dropped out of high school at 17…..

      2. Always in favor of less government says:

        How does it feel now that you’ve just slapped an older adult who lived through the hell of the depression in the face? You’ve been ranting about compassion then tell Kevin he should leave his comfortable world and abandon the lessons he’s learned from actual experience.

        Maybe try abandoning your elitist books and take a lesson from your grandmother… feed the poor and sick yourself and stop whining that the government should.

        1. Citizen says:

          Been there, done that, fed a lot more than the poor and kept you and KEVIN safe from terrorists besides. You both have me cryin’ for you. How does it feel to be told to pull yourselves up by your bootstraps and take care of yourselves? How does it feel when someone doesn’t really care….because you, Always, and KEVIN are two I do not care about. And if you believe KEVIN’s rants, well, there are fairy tales… Oh, and by the way my and my sainted grandmother’s ancestors met yours when they landed on Ellis Island. Go home to wherever you all came from.

          1. Always in favor of less government says:

            It feels great to have pulled myself up by my bootstraps, I love knowing that I came from nothing to where I am now by no other means than pure hard work, dedication, and the grace of God.

            I do not care that you do not care about me. Why would you even try to use that as a blow? Also, no idea where Ellis Island is coming from.

            Citizen, it doesn’t make sense for you to tell people to go home to wherever they came from. We all come from “here,” America is our home and we’re just tired of paying and paying and paying for services that we don’t use or benefit from. We want to help others just as much as you do, but when all of our money is taken by the government, what do we have left to donate or contribute to the causes and people that need it?

            It sounds like you’ve served in the armed services, I truly appreciate that.

            1. Citizen says:

              I’m not sure you appreciate anything with your rants. In telling you to “go home” I’m echoing the rest of the posters who have that as their only solution to the immigrant problem. If you are not a Native American, you are an immigrant, so you can go home. It is just my way of pointing out the irony.

              1. Marcellus Wallace says:

                I’m not an immigrant. Immigrants weren’t born here. You can’t change the meaning of the word.

              2. CITIZEN IS AN IDIOT says:

                cit·i·zen [ síttiz’n ]
                legal resident of country: somebody who has the right to live in a country because he or she was born there or has been legally accepted as a permanent resident
                county, town, or city dweller: a permanent resident of a county, town, or city
                civilian: somebody who is not a member of the armed forces, a police officer, or a public official

            2. Reasonable says:

              We don’t all benefit from public health? Tell that to survivors of any plague throughout history.

  28. KEVIN says:


    1. Citizen saves the world says:

      Now, now, Kevin. Didn’t you read the Citizens sob story? He bought some kid a $15 video game.

  29. Citizen says:

    So bad, so sad, KEVIN. I’m cryin’, cryin’ for you. What goes around, comes around.

  30. The answer says:

    Are ANY of you in the top 2% that are calling for a tax raise? If not….keep your opions out of this…as it’s NOT you being taxed! It’s easy to tell people to ” take it” when you are giving up nothing additional……

    Am I in the top 2%? NO….but it’s the IDEA of how the lower 98% (of which a substancial portion pay LITTLE, less or NO tax…) are the ones saying “take it”.

    I have a better idea….instead of the TOP 2% paying more…..let’s take the BOTTOM 25%! A larger percentage! Less money per person, PLUS I am sure it was them who VOTED for Gov Deer in the headlights anyway!


  31. Robert says:

    I fall into the top 1% and last year I paid a little over $600,000. (six hundred thousand) dollars to the state. I have 237 employees that work for me. I could move my company to South Dakota, pay no state tax and lower my payroll by 40% because wages are that much less. You decide what would be good for the state. Oh,

    1. SnowFire says:

      If you could move your business to SD then you would have already and you know it. Why not just move it out of the USA? If you really make that much money then you are on vacation most of the year and a few of your employees are commenting above (such as “Always in favor of less government”) and don’t do any work for the $150k you pay them each year. In one way or another many of us work for the wealthy and see the games wealth enables you to play – it is all just a game to you isn’t it. Your wealth (or that of your sugar daddy you are living off of) is compounded with every move you make, extracting from the middle class and pitting them against each other – this is your real success!

      1. Just asking says:

        Where does your jealousy come from?

      2. Sara says:

        My God are you pathetic!

    2. Sara says:

      I am with you on this! I cannot believe the complete idiots in this state and on this board who just do not get it at all. But then again, that is why many of them are in the lower tax brackets and screaming “tax the rich” with no idea what it really means………I know of a couple of higher earners already that are planing on moving to a tax and business friendly state. Myself included. Then all the ‘lollipop and puppy dog living in a fantasy world’ liberals can stay behind pick up the slack. They think the moocher class is justified and entitled to my income but not theirs (of course). But in the end, they will be paying for it to.

      1. Just asking says:

        Sara,I know many people like SnowFire. Most are on the welfare dole. They will never amount to anything and think everybody owes them.

  32. everyone should pay says:

    Tax everyone equally! We are right at the top 2% and almost-never qualify for any credits and deductions, plus AMT tacks on even more tax. Now they want more? How about a little atta-boy for personal responsibility? I’m all for helping out a fellow Minnesotan in a bind, but when does it end? Hubby and I came from humble beginnings and worked hard to get where we are. Instead of walking away from a house worth 2/3 of what we paid for it, we worked hard to pay it off. Now we will have even fewer deductions… Why does it seem like we are being penalized for doing everything right when people who buy houses and have babies they can’t afford get bailed out time after time?

    A flat tax for everyone is the way to go – no special credits of deductions, just 10% off the top. And there would be a huge savings in the reduction of the IRS dept.

    1. VarietyIsBetter says:

      All I can say is you are awesome! Nicely said!

  33. VarietyIsBetter says:

    This could be a game of the biggest losers but unfortunately “Citizen” took that award already. Not only is the Citizen post mostly socialist but also jumps back and forth from socialist to Republican. I can’t tell what is being defended! Pay for everyone that wants to move here or a handout for where nobody pays?
    I made my statement further above and don’t need to repeat it. What I do want is for Citizen to take his drugs to calm his mind.
    A fixed tax is the only honest way to go ahead. At the bottom you are required to pay an equal share; at the top you continue to pay your share. How the hell can you fight about that?

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