When Gov. Dayton visited St. Cloud Tuesday night, he said that he wouldn’t raise taxes on the middle class. That’s a verifiable lie. His budget includes increases in the metro sales tax and the cigarette tax. Both taxes are regressive taxes, meaning they’ll hit the middle class and the working poor harder than they’ll hit 1-percenters.

Appearing on Ox in the Afternoon, Sen. John Pederson said that he’s the ranking minority member on the Senate Transportation and Public Safety Committee. He’s also the ranking minority member on the Finance- Transportation and Public Safety Committee. As a member of the Senate Transportation Finance Division, he got a fiscal note on the Senate’s proposed .75% metro sales tax increase. That fiscal note said that it would raise $300,000,000 a year, all of it dedicated to metro transit projects.

That tax will hit the middle class and the working poor the hardest.

That’s before talking about Gov. Dayton’s 94-cent-per-pack cigarette tax increase, which hurts convenience store operators:

Convenience store owners challenged a cigarette tax hike proposal by Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton at a town hall meeting earlier this week, Minnesota Public Radio reports.

The retailers said that the governor’s plan to raise the cigarette tax by 94 cents a pack will send their customers to bordering North Dakota.

“When you lose those tobacco customers, those guys and gals that come in every single morning and get their coffee, their pop, they buy their gas, they buy their car washes…we’re all of a sudden looking at running our business on 75%-60% of our customer base. And that’s pretty tough to do,” said Frank Orton, owner of 15 convenience stores.

Dayton said the tax is designed to deter smoking, though he told Orton that he is willing to consider adding tobacco products to legislation that equalizes taxes for businesses located along state borders.

“If people can go across the river and buy their cigarettes in Fargo for whatever less the tax difference is it’s obviously undermining the intent of our raising the tax at all because they can just go over there and not be affected by it,” Dayton said.

Gov. Dayton is utterly clueless. People driving across the Red River to North Dakota or crossing into Wisconsin or Iowa is the totally predictable outcome to his proposal. Though this wasn’t the intent of the legislation, that’s the predictable outcome of raising taxes.

In that article, Gov. Dayton admitted that people change their behavior when taxes get raised. What’s galling about that is that he apparently thinks that businesses that can relocate to other states won’t move if he raises income taxes. According to this article, St. Cloud Chamber of Commerce President Teresa Bohnen has proof he’s wrong:

St. Cloud Area Chamber of Commerce President Teresa Bohen says she’s recently talked with four local companies who say they may have to transfer their investments to other states, if the Governor’s plan goes through.

That’s a polite way of saying they’ll move if their taxes get raised.

One thing that came through clearly from Tuesday’s meeting was that Gov. Dayton and his supporters think of businesses as second class citizens. That attitude was clear this week. It was clear when Gov. Dayton addressed the State Chamber of Commerce gathering in St. Paul 2 weeks ago.

That’s after they applauded Gov. Dayton for pulling his sales tax increase from his budget proposal. Gov. Dayton then went on a hissy fit tirade, saying that businesses weren’t paying their fair share, that they were essentially getting a free ride.

In addition to being dishonest, Gov. Dayton apparently isn’t the brightest bulb in the DFL chandelier. If Minnesota’s businesses start expanding in other states as a direct result of Gov. Dayton’s and the DFL’s tax policies, their move will undercut whatever growth is happening right now.

Gov. Dayton hasn’t made economic growth his highest priority. Apparently, tax fairness is Gov. Dayton’s and the DFL’s guiding principle. They apparently haven’t learned that a rising tide lifts all ships and that a growing economy benefits everyone.

That’s a sad day in Minnesota.

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4 Responses to “Dayton’s Dishonesty”

  • Jane Wegener says:

    I for one am sick and tired of the tax and spend policies and the lies coming out of the democrats in MN AND IN DC!!

  • Gary Gross says:

    Jane, You’re far from alone. There’s a growing number of people who think what you think, believe what you believe.

  • Chad Q says:

    And yet the poor and middle class morons will continue to vote for those who continue to do them harm. Got to love party loyalty.

  • walter hanson says:


    They still think that they are voting for good things! You know mass transit which isn’t working, the school which are bad, health care which only gets worse the more that government is involved, etc.

    They don’t see that! Of course when the Republicans point it out the MSM ignores them or makes fun of them.

    Walter Hanson

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