Minnesota Budget Battles Continue

A new Minnesota Poll, reported in the Minneapolis Star Tribune, says that 80% of Minnesotans want to cut spending to balance the state’s budget. That’s the good news. The bad news is that 75% also want to raise taxes. The Strib reports hopefully that “Support for tax increases is broad and deep, spanning young and old, male and female, rural and metro, liberal and conservative,” and concludes that this will embolden Democrats, who are pushing for a $1 billion tax increase.
Maybe it will. But the data basically show that most people are willing, in a pinch, to impose higher taxes on someone else. The proposed new taxes that garnered wide support were on cigarettes (heavily supported by non-smokers), gambling (supported by gamblers since the increase would be in the types of gambling permitted, not in tax rates), and more taxes on the “highest income earners,” supported by the 75% of the population who don’t expect to be in that category any time soon. The Strib didn’t report on how many people favor across the board sales or income tax increases, but I’d guess that number is very low.


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