Now don't get me wrong, there are some negative parts to his budget proposal, including cuts to state health programs, but having the intestinal fortitude to demand stiff tax increases on those who fund his campaigns is rare these days, and must be celebrated.
Dayton campaigned on raising income taxes on the wealthy. His tax plan would impose a new fourth bracket of 10.95 percent for single filers making $85,000 and up in taxable income and couples who make more than $150,000. It tacks another 3 percent surtax on people with $500,000 or more in taxable income for the next three years, going beyond what he talked about as a candidate last year.
Assistant Revenue Commissioner Matt Massman said the tax increases would be partially blunted by federal tax reductions approved in December. Someone at the bottom end of the new tax bracket could expect to pay $139 more per year in state income tax while a couple with $1 million in taxable income could expect a $37,000 hit, according to his calculations.
Okay, so the rich will have to cut back on one dinner-date or, for the uber-wealthy, one fewer new car that year.
They can handle it. Those struggling on make it, surviving on payday loans, can't.
Mark Dayton gets it. If we are to have shared sacrifice, then everyone needs to sacrifice, not just working people in the forms of their pensions being slashed and their collective bargaining rights stripped away. The rich can and must "sacrifice", too.
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