Minnesota taxpayers pay too much and often for the wrong things. More importantly, the state's tax system fails to meet the needs of today, which is obvious when we see schools with overcrowded classrooms, some retreating to a four-day week, and communities cutting basic services like police and fire protection. The tired canard of "no new taxes" is not the solution. Neither is imposing excessively high income tax rates.
Independence Party candidate for governor Tom Horner is willing to risk telling Minnesota voters what they need to hear, not what they want to hear, about our $5.8 billion state deficit. Horner is the only candidate to embrace the 21st Century Tax Reform Commission's vision to position Minnesota for economic growth in the emerging global economy.
Horner recommends lowering the sales tax rate and broadening the base -- a proposal that would particularly favor young families by reducing taxes on major purchases such as appliances and furniture.
We would argue the perfect tax is one that has no exemptions -- everyone is treated the same. There are currently 84 exemptions to the sales tax. Eliminating some of these exemptions should be coupled with reforms to make business taxes inexpensive to administer, friendly to economic growth, and competitive.
Bold, yet thoughtful, reform will generate new jobs, encourage economic growth, and help create wealth for Minnesota workers, businesses and investors. -- George Pillsbury, Wayzata, Bill Belanger, Bloomington
(George Pillsbury served in the Minnesota State Senate from 1971 to 1983. Bill Belanger of Bloomington served 26 years in the Senate and was a commissioner on the 21st Century Tax Reform Commission.)