Rich must pay their fair share

Rolf Westgard - guest faculty, College of Continuing Education

A major theme of Gov. Mark DaytonâÄôs State of the State speech was his desire to create a more progressive tax system in which all pay a fair share. Opponents naturally accuse him of targeting the rich. But the numbers bear out the GovernorâÄôs position.

Studies by the Minnesota Budget Project and others show that itâÄôs middle-income taxpayers âÄî those in the $40,000 to $60,000 income bracket âÄî who pay the highest percent of income when property taxes are included.

This will get worse if the new Legislature cuts local government aid, causing cities to resort to raising property taxes.

The previous governor depleted the stateâÄôs reserve funds in the effort to maintain his “no new taxes” pledge, so now Dayton must make tough budget decisions and raise taxes on the rich to balance the budget.