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The Wealthy's Love/Hate Relationship With Minnesota

Category: Taxes
Posted: 04/16/14 01:45, Edited: 04/18/14 17:53

by Dave Mindeman

The wealthy always have such a quandary about where to live. And inevitably there is this debate about the wealthy and Minnesota taxes. Another article came out today....

Minnesota's wealthy caught in a tight tax net over residency

There is a simple question to ask these wealthy characters...

Do you or do you not want to live in Minnesota?

Snow birds want it both ways. They want the warm weather and low taxes of the southern states. But they want the quality of life, the medical care, the transportation options, and the pleasant summers of Minnesota as well. They just want to pay those low taxes...you know, wherever they get the "best deal".

Yeah, really loyal citizens. The good life, great education and responsible government of Minnesota probably made them wealthy - but they don't feel they owe Minnesota anything. Nope. They would rather manipulate taxes so that they get Minnesota benefits without paying for them.

So, why don't they just leave? Why do they spend enough time in this state to drive their accountants crazy? Why do they keep coming back... which makes it a challenge regarding their legal residency status?

Simplify it for all of us. Go. Leave. Head for those southern climes and don't look back. Stop all the business relationships with this state... the state that you can only complain about.

But you don't do that, do you? You can't completely let go. Why is that? Could it be that Minnesota has things to offer that the "cheap" governments in the south can't give you? Is it our "expensive" education system that trains workers and sets up careers? Is it our world class medical care -- as in Mayo Clinic or the Univ. of Minnesota systems? Is it a state with more Fortune 500 companies per capita than any other? Is it the myriad of Parks and bike trails and family venues that are built and maintained by those tax dollars that you don't want to pay?

Why oh why - can't you just say good-bye? It is a curiousity.
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The Contorted And Convoluted Tax Logic Of The MN GOP

Category: Taxes
Posted: 03/24/14 17:33, Edited: 03/25/14 13:13

by Dave Mindeman

When it comes to taxes, the MN GOP has some pretty tortured and convoluted logic. The Democratic tax policies are always a problem. The MN GOP Senate Caucus is circulating this little tidbit flyer....

http://www.mnpact.org/sblog/upload/gop%20tax.jpg

1. MN saw property taxes go up $125 million. Well it depends on how you calculate that. The Democrats contend there is a reduction. GOP needs a slanted argument to make this work.

2. Increased cigarette tax by $1.60 per pack. Considering that this is a health risk, most people applaud the increase. But this was part of last year's package. Was GOP expecting a repeal of this as well?

3. Increased individual income taxes by $1.1 billion by creating a 4th tier income tax and increasing the rate by 25% - from 7.85% to 9.85%. Now if I was among the 2% of Minnesotans that qualify for that, I might think more about it. It just doesn't affect that many people and again, it was from last year -- and Dayton ran on doing it.

4. Increased sales taxes for individuals on all internet purchases. It is about time that we equalize this unfair sales taxing method. Why should brick and mortar stores collect tax and internet companies not?

5. Increase sales taxes on all digital downloads like iTunes and Ebooks. This is where the sales are happening. Republicans seem to think that digital media purchases is not a sale. Really?

6. Increased sales taxes on individuals on TV satellite services. You know, the GOP could have lumped 4, 5, and 6 together as one digital sales tax point. But, like income taxes, it always sounds better when you itemize.

7. Homeowners will see rates for energy rise due to solar mandates placed on energy companies in Minnesota. First of all, this is not a tax. Second, it is questionable whether rates rise at all. Initial increases may happen with the switchover, but in the long run, rates should decrease.

8. Minnesota businesses will pay higher taxes through the repeal of the Foreign Royalty Deduction, and FOC tax treatment, and more. Did your eyes glaze over on that one? Nobody knows what it is - and besides the GOP seems to miss the fact that 3 business taxes were repealed in the new bill. Foreign Royalty? Prince William maybe? But again, not a tax.

9. Premiums and deductions are higher and many people forced of the insurance plan they like due to Obamacare/MNsure mandates. You knew they had to get Obamacare in there somewhere. Still, premiums and deductibles are overall better - not higher. And maybe a few people are forced off of a cheap plan they may have liked - but it more than likely didn't cover anything in the first place. And I repeat - not a tax.

10. Businesses must pay upfront sales tax on capital equipment purchases and now won't see a refund until 2015. Again, several business taxes were repealed and on this one THEY GET THEIR MONEY BACK!

The contorted logic continues and the complaints will never stop. But Minnesota has a booming economy and a surplus to work with. The GOP didn't give us that. We suffered through recessions and deficits with them.

Talk is cheap - it's the results that matter.
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Business Tax Discussions Exceeds Their Relevance

Category: Taxes
Posted: 08/23/13 13:55, Edited: 08/23/13 13:55

by Dave Mindeman

I hear a lot of talk in the media about the "unpopularity" of the new business taxes.

I think they need to clarify that.

It may be unpopular with the business community but the average Minnesotan has no idea what it is, let alone care about it one way or another.

Personally, I think the media thinks using a general "unpopular" label for these taxes is allowed because of the undo influence of the business community. Anything unpopular by Minnesota business is assigned to the attention of legislative lobbyists....and they in turn force media attention on an item that would generally go unnoticed if left to the electorate as a whole.

Warehouse taxes don't affect the average taxpayer. And it only affects a small minority of businesses as well. Yet, business acts as though it will destroy our economy. Of course, they use the pressure of "losing jobs" as the main emphasis. Even though there is no evidence that it will actually do that. No business entity makes major expansion/contraction decisions solely on the introduction of a tax. It just doesn't happen.

Farm equipment repair taxes are also the purview of a very small minority of affected businesses. Yet, it gets enormous attention and debates on its merits.

Granted, it is important to discuss these things....but the recent discussion about whether or not to hold a special session on disaster relief based on inclusion of tax repeals is ridiculous.

Republican legislative leadership is so beholden to business lobbyists that they hold the rest of government hostage to these minority interests.

And the media is complicit by allowing the attention to exceed its relevance.

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