Thursday, April 12, 2007

Are you REALLY happy to pay for a better Minnesota? 

If so, we have a bill you need to support.
A bill for an act relating to taxation; individual income; providing income tax checkoffs to provide additional funding for kindergarten through grade 12 education, health care, higher education, early childhood and family education, and state parks; ...
Yes, my liberal friends, here you are! A chance to put your money where your lawn sign is!
Accounts are established in the special revenue fund to receive amounts designated through the income tax checkoffs in this section. Accounts are established for:
(1) kindergarten through grade 12 education;
(2) health care;
(3) higher education;
(4) early childhood and family education; and
(5) state parks.
I mean, goodness! Education (early, k-12, and higher)! Health care! State parks! Now these are things you should be happy to pay for, yes?
(b) All interest earned on money accrued, gifts, contributions, and reimbursements of expenditures in each account must be credited to the account.
(c) The state pledges and agrees with all contributors to the accounts to use the funds contributed solely for the purposes specified, and further agrees that it will not impose additional conditions or restrictions that will limit or otherwise restrict the use of the funds.
Why look! They are making you a deal. They'll spend only on those things. Not one dime for a tax break for businesses. Not one dime for mcchimpybushhitler's war. Just the good stuff.

I can imagine you're all a-twitter over this now?
Every individual who files an income tax return may designate on their original return that $1 or more is to be added to the tax or deducted from the refund that would otherwise be payable by or to that individual and paid into one or more of the accounts established in subdivision 1. The commissioner of revenue shall, on the income tax return, notify filers of their right to designate that a portion of their tax or refund is to be paid into one or more of the accounts. The commissioner of revenue must also provide on the income tax return for an individual to designate that an amount equal to five percent of the individual's tax due before credits be distributed equally among the five accounts established in subdivision 1.
"So I check off how much I want to put into these worthy goals and ...

"Um, wait. What's this thing about '$1 or more is to be added to the tax or deducted from the refund that would otherwise be payable by or to that individual'? Does that mean my tax refund is less? Like giving to the wildlife fund?"

Well, yes, friend. Of course it does mean that. But these are things you are happy to pay for a better Minnesota, I thought?
�We�re not trying to pick on them,� said Assistant Senate Majority Leader Tarryl Clark, DFL-St. Cloud, adding that Minnesotans who are well-off have benefited from federal tax cuts. The proposed Senate tax increase would require those same people to �pay their fair share,� she said.
Oh, so you're only happy to force someone else to "pay their fair share" for a better Minnesota. You're not actually willing to let people pay it themselves.

We thank Rep. Steve Gottwalt of St. Cloud for bringing the "Please Tax Me More" bill to the legislative session. He reports (via Psycmeistr) that the bill was heard in the House Tax Committee today. While Gottwalt reports he doesn't expect it to get into the tax bill in committee, it would make for a lovely floor amendment. Please do, sir! I want representatives to explain why they voted to not allow people to voluntarily fund public education, health and parks.

Maybe because they are afraid how little support public spending would elicit.

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