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Good Question: ‘Reply All’ To Your Good Questions

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(credit: CBS) Jason DeRusha
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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – From the rainy Minnesota weather to the government shutdown, we’re Replying All to WCCO viewers’ Good Questions.

• “Who has had more rain this spring, Minneapolis or Seattle?” –- Jen Weaverling via Twitter

According to the National Weather Service, the airport in Minneapolis-St. Paul recorded 4.04 inches of rain in May, and 5.26 inches of rain in June (most of it in over the last 11 days). That’s a total of 9.3 inches of rain.

Seattle’s airport saw 3.2 inches of rain in May and 1.15 inches in June, a total of 4.35.

So Minneapolis more than doubled the rain of Seattle! The rainy city!

• “How much Minnesota income tax is the rich paying now?” — Alan Naumann

According to the Minnesota Department of Revenue 2011 Tax Incidence Study, the top 1% of earners (making about $450,000 and more) earns 16% of all the income reported in the state of Minnesota.

Earn: 16 percent
Pay in MN Income tax: 24.5 percent
Total paid: $1.7 billion

So it may appear the rich are paying more than their “fair share.”

However, when you add in the property and sales tax to compute the total tax burden, the Department of Revenue reports that the top 1 percent pays a proportion less than they earn.

Earn: 16 percent
Pay in total MN Taxes: 13.7 percent
Total paid: $2.07 billion

• “Why do carmakers put gas tanks on different sides of different cars?” — Dave Hanson from Shorewood

Remember the exploding Ford Pinto? Many fuel tanks used to be in the rear of a car, but that doesn’t work so well if there’s a rear-end crash.

So, gas tanks usually end up on the opposite side of the tailpipe, and that leads to where the nozzle goes.

It’s an engineering decision, by individual manufacturers. Right now the trend is for more cars to have gas caps on the passenger side.

• “What happens to marriage licenses if the state government shuts down?” –- Jason Jorgensen, Bloomington

Marriage licenses are issued by the counties, not the state.

Many county service centers will shut down if the state government shuts down, because drivers’ licenses, fishing and hunting licenses, birth and death certificates all rely on data from the state, which will likely not be accessible.

But, Hennepin County marriage licenses will still be issued. They may be issued through one open service center, or they may be issued through a county recorder office. The decision hasn’t been made yet.

You can shut down the government, but you apparently can’t shut down love.

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