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Reality Check: Minn. Remains A High Tax State

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(credit: CBS) Pat Kessler
Pat Kessler knows Minnesota politics. He's been on the beat long...
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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Other people might call April 15 “Tax Day,” but Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton has another name for it.

“Today is ‘Tax Cut Day’ in Minnesota,” the Democrat elected in 2010 said on Tuesday.

He used the last day of tax filing to highlight $500 million in middle class tax cuts passed by the 2014 State Legislature.

That’s also why he invited Kristi and Aaron Norman to the ornate Governor’s Reception Room. The Normans, who recently adopted two children, are grateful for a new Minnesota tax break that saved them between $700 and $800 in adoption costs.

“As much as it is a blessing, it is expensive,” said Kristy, who brought her family from Rochester. “And every time you turn the corner you feel like you are writing out another check to another agency. And you are happy to do it, but sometimes you don’t have the money.”

But Minnesota taxes remain among the highest in the country.

The Tax Foundation ranks Minnesota number six on a list of high tax states, just behind Wisconsin at number five.

Iowa ranks at 29. North Dakota comes in at 36. And South Dakota is all the way down at 48.

Nevertheless, Minnesota business is booming. Forbes magazine ranks Minnesota as the number eight state for starting a business.

But income taxes went up for the wealthiest Minnesotans in 2013. The Census Bureau reports tax collections rose 12.1 percent last year because of it.

Instead of avoiding it, Dayton is embracing the high taxes, as they are key to funding education and job creation.

“I don’t think we’re a low tax state,” Dayton said. “We’ve never been a low tax state. We’re a high value state.”

Here are Some of the Sources We Used for this Reality Check:

Minnesota Tax Collections, Plus History
www.revenue.state.mn.us

Minnesota Tax Brackets 1998-2013
www.house.leg.state.mn.us

Tax Rates in Minnesota
http://taxfoundation.org/state-tax-climate/minnesota

Governing Magazine / Total Taxes
governing.com

US Census Bureau
State by State Tax Collections
www2.census.gov

Tax Freedom Day
taxfoundation.org

Wall Street 24/7: States with the Highest and Lowest Taxes
247wallst.com

Minnesota Income Tax
www.house.leg.state.mn.us

Top States for Job Creation in 2014
www.pewstates.org

www.usatoday.com

MN House Research / Tax Rates
www.house.leg.state.mn.us

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