Legislators hear public scrutiny of Dayton's tax plan at Capitolby Tim Pugmire, Minnesota Public Radio
St. Paul, Minn. — Gov. Mark Dayton's proposal to use tax increases to erase most of a projected $6.2 billion budget deficit is getting a lot of scrutiny this week at the State Capitol.
The House Tax Committee heard testimony Wednesday from supporters and opponents of the governor's plan.
Michael Downing, a retired 3M employee from White Bear Lake, told legislators that he already spends part of the year at his home in Florida. Downing said a tax increase on upper earners might force him to leave Minnesota permanently.
"There's a point in time when enough is enough, and many of my former 3M colleagues have made the decision already to move to other states based on the tax climate here," Downing said. "I would be doing the same personally. But at this point in time I haven't made that decision, but this may force me into that decision."
Brian Rusche, of the Joint Religious Legislative Coalition, told legislators that he supports a fair tax system that provides the revenue needed for the state's social infrastructure. Rusche said the kindness of families and neighbors is not enough.
"It's not a good thing to change institutional arrangements to the extent that you have more and more people desperate, so that people that are advantaged can be kind," Rusche said. "I think you have to ask the question about who is that arrangement for?"