FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: David Strom
April 15, 2008
Matt Entenza and Minnesota 2020 Mislead onMinnesotaTaxes
St Paul—David Strom, President of the Minnesota Free Market Institute today lashed out at liberal think tank Minnesota 2020 and its President Matt Entenza for misleading Minnesotans on Minnesota taxes.
In Monday”s (April 12) Star Tribune, Entenza claims that Minnesota’s taxes are below the national average, placing Minnesotans’ tax burden at the 32nd in the nation. That number is simply incorrect.
According to the latest numbers from the Minnesota House Department of Revenue,Minnesota’s per capita state and local tax burden ranks 12th in the nation, and as a percentage of personal income Minnesota ranks 20th. Total tax collections per capita are about 10 percent above the national average.
The House Department of Revenue numbers are in line with a similar report released by the Minnesota House of Representatives Fiscal Analysis Department in January.
The Tax Foundation, a nonpartisan tax research group based in Washington, D.C., which calculates tax burdens comparing states, presents slightly different numbers that indicate that Minnesotans rank 8th in total tax burden. Tax Foundation numbers include the Federal tax burden in addition to the state burden.
“Minnesota 2020 is misleading citizens. According to Minnesota’s Department of Revenue our state and local tax burden is 12th in the nation—significantly above average. Entenza’s claim thatMinnesota ranks 32ndt in the nation is a fabrication,” said David Strom, President of the Minnesota Free Market Institute.
“The problem is not that Entenza got the number wrong; it’s that he didn’t try to get right,” said Minnesota Free Market Institute Senior Policy Fellow Craig Westover. “Retired Princeton Professor Harry Frankfurt (author of “On Bullsh*t”) would call that “Bullsh*t,” Westover added. “Entenza wants to create the impression that Minnesotans aren’t taxed all that badly so he can push for higher taxes for his progressive agenda. Pursuing such a ‘good’ end, impression counts — the truth beomes irrelevant.”
“It is hard to argue that the Minnesota House of Representatives’ analysis is part of a conservative plot against high taxes. The simple fact is that Entenza got the tax ranking wrong and needs to be called on it,” Strom added.
The Minnesota Free Market Institute conducts research and advocates for policy that limits government involvement in individual affairs and promotes competition and consumer choice.