To the editor:
Recent letters, online and in print, go to great lengths to try to convince us that tax increases passed by Democrats at the State Capitol will hurt our economy. The letters avoid mentioning that the majority of the new taxes come from wealthy Minnesotans, whose effective tax rates have not been keeping pace with those of the rest of us, according to the tax incidence study from the Minnesota Department of Revenue. The new cigarette taxes may help pay for the cost of ongoing public health needs of smokers and those impacted by second-hand smoke.
The even footing school districts will have as a result is welcome news to householders tired of ballooning property taxes and ongoing school levy votes. For years the Legislature was forced to accept the gimmicks of school districts having to pay for their current budgets out of next year’s state grants. Declining funding for transportation and electives reduced the quality of Minnesota’s education. Now, finally again, the state has restored its funding, and the quality of its graduates’ education. When we did this in the ’70s, the result was solid employment figures. There is no substitute for priming the economic pump through a good education, and law enforcement groups and researchers are in agreement on that issue, with early education a key.
The economic benefits to businesses of well-educated young people and a healthy workforce keep Minnesota a good business state. Our national economy is rebounding and Minnesota will see its share prospering as well, thanks to the work of dedicated state legislators.