Together We Rise Minnesota is a public policy campaign coordinated by the Minnesota Budget Project and Minnesota Council of Nonprofits.
The significant resources available in our state through the projected state budget surplus and federal funds represent a historic opportunity to make transformational changes to build a future in which all Minnesotans are healthy, safe, and financially secure.
State policymakers should act boldly and use these resources for much-needed public investments that strengthen everyday Minnesotans and their communities—from affordable housing and child care, high quality education for every student, clean air and water, and much more.
But we can’t make these investments if policymakers enact billions of dollars in poorly targeted permanent tax cuts that leave out the most struggling Minnesotans while giving the largest tax cuts to high-income Minnesotans.
Add your organization's name to this sign-on letter, urging Governor Tim Walz and members of the Minnesota Legislature to oppose expensive, poorly targeted tax cuts at the expense of public investments to create a stronger, more equitable future.
The letter below, including organizational signatories, will be shared with Governor Tim Walz and members of the Minnesota Legislature at key moments in the policy debate.
**Please note: If you are signing on behalf of multiple organizations, you will need to use a different email address with each entry.**
To Governor Tim Walz and Members of the Minnesota Legislature:
We believe that the resources available in our state – the projected state budget surplus and federal funds – represent a historic opportunity to make transformational changes to build a future in which all Minnesotans are healthy, safe, and financially secure. We can’t go back to a status quo that leaves too many of our neighbors behind and keeps Minnesota’s racial disparities – some of the worst in the nation – in place.
The COVID-related recession was likely the most unequal in modern history, and did the most harm to those with the least resources to get through it, including lower-income Minnesotans and Minnesotans of color. At the same time, many of those with the greatest incomes and wealth saw their resources grow.
The path to a stronger, more equitable recovery is through public investments to strengthen everyday Minnesotans, their families, and communities, focusing on those hardest hit by the pandemic and the disparities and disinvestment that preceded it.
But the state won’t be able to make these investments if policymakers enact billions of dollars in poorly targeted permanent tax cuts that leave out the most struggling Minnesotans while giving the largest tax cuts to those with the most resources.
We oppose the following expensive, poorly targeted tax cuts:
- Expanding Minnesota’s Social Security exemption to high-income Minnesotans (Senate File 2637). Minnesota already takes a responsible and targeted approach to taxation of Social Security benefits. About two-thirds of Social Security income going to Minnesota residents is already exempt from state income taxes. Current federal and state tax laws already mean that the lowest-income seniors don’t pay any income taxes on their Social Security, and all Minnesotans have some of their Social Security exempt. Expanding this exemption to include higher-income people and all Social Security income would cost more than $500 million a year. More than half of the total tax cuts would go to households with incomes above $134,000 – that’s the top 20 percent of the income distribution in Minnesota – according to estimates from the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy.
- Cutting the income tax rate from 5.35 percent to 2.8 percent in the first income tax bracket. Despite this proposal often being described as “for all taxpayers,” about 1 in 5 Minnesota households would see no benefit from this proposal, and lower-income Minnesotans are the most likely to be left out. In contrast, the highest-income Minnesotans would receive average tax cuts of more than $1,000 each year – that's more than seven times the average tax cut a household with income under $30,000 would receive, and more than twice the average tax cut that households earning $30,000 to $51,000 would receive, if they get any tax cut at all.
While middle-income Minnesotans would receive some benefit from these proposals, more could be achieved by investing in things so that everyday Minnesotans and their families can thrive, such as affordable child care and early learning opportunities, affordable housing, paid family and medical leave, high quality education for every student, clean air and water, infrastructure, and health care.
Sign your organization onto this letter using the form featured here! Have questions or concerns? Contact Meghan Marriott, Engagement Manager with the Minnesota Budget Project: firstname.lastname@example.org.