After the DFL’s legislative victories in the House and Senate, it became fashionable to talk about major tax hikes. It didn’t take long for the DFL to quickly tamp that talk down and replace it with chanting points touting tax reform instead. Fortunately for the GOP, I’ve kept track of the DFL’s tax reform proposals, including their previous reform proposal:

“This bill proposes the most significant tax overhaul in 20 years,” said the bill’s chief author Rep. Ann Lenczeswki, DFL-Bloomington.

In addition to the tax hikes, Lenczewski’s bill removes a variety of tax breaks for homeowners and businesses. Charitable contributions, the mortgage interest tax deduction and the property tax deduction for homeowners are eliminated and replaced with a tax credit based on income. The bill also eliminates several business tax breaks, like the Research and Development credit and parts of the governor’s JOBZ program.

Lenczewski said she wants to clean up the state’s tax code.

“Which is to sweep the tax code clean of all of the preferential treatment and subsidies and things we can’t afford anymore and instead bring a fairer, more progressive income tax to Minnesotans based on the ability to pay,” she said.

Rep. Lenczewski’s tax overhaul is stunning because it would’ve:

  • Raised tax rates
  • Eliminated deductions for home mortgage interest, charitable giving and property taxes
  • Eliminated the R & D tax deduction for businesses.

Mitch Berg has a great post about DFL tax increases titled “Now We Are All ‘The Rich’”. Unfortunately, Mitch didn’t include Cy Thao’s infamous quote, which I broke in this post:

Today, at a committee hearing, Cy Thao told Steve “When you guys win, you get to keep your money. When we win, we take your money.”

Another golden oldie that I haven’t talked about recently is Steve Murphy’s quote about the 2008 gas tax increase:

Tucked away in a big transportation funding bill being fast-tracked to a Senate floor vote today are future increases in Minnesota’s gas tax that could push it from 20 cents a gallon to more than 40 cents over 10 years, higher than any state’s current bite at the pump.

“I’m not trying to fool anybody,” said Sen. Steve Murphy, DFL-Red Wing, sponsor of the measure that would increase funding for roads and transit by $1.5 billion a year once it was fully implemented in the next decade. “There’s a lot of taxes in this bill.”

In short, the DFL’s happy talk about tax reform is what most people call tax hikes. There’s little in the way of replacing the relic tax code with a 21st Century tax code. Historically speaking, there’s just lots of major tax hikes to the DFL’s tax ‘reforms’.

Whatever the DFL calls it, the reality is that their ‘reforms’ will hit everyone hard.

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4 Responses to “Tax reform, DFL style, Part II”

  • eric z says:

    At the federal level, the Constitution is clear revenue and spending legislation is to originate in the House.

    What precisely is Boehner and Cantor originating, besides rhetoric? Is it asking a lot for the house leadership of the house responsible to initiate things, to initiate things?

    You may not like what the Minnesota house is proposing, but at least it’s not blowing smoke …

  • Gary Gross says:

    Here’s the GOP’s counterproposal to President Obama’s unserious proposal.

    It won’t do anything to create dynamic private sector jobs. It won’t force government to stop pissing away money. It pays off the DFL’s political allies with taxpayers’ money. There’s nothing worthwhile in the DFL’s tax increase proposals.

  • Chad Q says:

    The democrats at a national level and the DFL here locally don’t care if their tax and spend plans create job so long as the so called rich pay their fair share. Their tax and spend plans aren’t realistic so who cares what they are proposing because it is all a pipedream anyway.
    There aren’t enough so called rich (when did $250k become a millionaire or rich for that matter)to pay for what the liberal thieves would like to steal and spend on their pet projects so we are all going to pay.

  • walter hanson says:


    The President has a couple of jobs.

    One, is that he is suppose to over see the country’s health and ask for policies that work. When you have a $1.113 trillion dollar deficit after you get the $87 billion a year in tax increases where are the proposed spending cuts to get that $1.113 trillion per year.

    Two, you are suppose to leave the country in better shape then you inherited it. Obama is a horrible failure and is making things worse. Gasoline will be something like $5 a gallon or more (especially when you throw in state gasoline tax increases coming). The United States health care system will be destroyed.

    So Eric why doesn’t President Obama want to do these job basic jobs.

    Walter Hanson
    Minneapolis, MN

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