A recent release published in the March 5 Dispatch regarding the income tax burden on Minnesotans painted an inaccurate picture.
According to The Associated Press story, Minnesota's ranking of the income tax burden has fallen further out of the top 10 nationally thanks to two rounds of tax cuts in 1999 and 2000.
However, according to statistics from the U.S. Census Bureau, Minnesota was second in state taxes, seventh in local taxes and third in combined taxes in 2003. Minnesota's per capita state revenues in 2003 was $2,853, its per capita local revenues in 2002 was $2,143 and its combined state and local revenues was $4,996.
I'm not sure where the Minnesota Taxpayers Association, the group credited with doing the study in the AP story, got its information from. One must remember the Taxpayers Association represents mostly businesses, and not individual taxpayers.
Unfortunately, Minnesota also makes it difficult for businesses. It is ranked 48th out of 50 in the worst states for taxes. Talk about creating a better place for businesses to come.
Our state government needs to operate the way Minnesota families do every day -- by learning to live within their means. More taxes are not the solution to balancing a budget and providing necessary services.
Fiscal responsibility is a character trait that I strongly endorse, and is something I'm encouraging my colleagues in the Legislature to support as well. The state of Minnesota overtaxes its citizens each year, and it must stop.
Higher taxes means less money in your pocket to spend as you see fit. That's not the solution to our present budget shortfall.
Rep. Paul Gazelka
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