Home Local News Arden Hills Scott Jensen details plan to eliminate personal income tax

Scott Jensen details plan to eliminate personal income tax


In order to make Minnesota the tenth state in the union without a personal income tax, Republican candidate for governor Scott Jensen says, which, according to economists, would necessitate significant budget cuts to health care and education as well as possible increases in sales and real estate taxes.

The Chaska family physician and former one-term state legislator offered some information about how he would close the $15 billion annual hole left by doing away with the income tax earlier this month.

Jensen proposed an eight-year plan starting in 2023 on a recording of a town hall meeting that the Reformer was able to get. He would make significant spending cutbacks in addition to using the state’s present $9 billion surplus to overcome budget shortages.

The specifics are still hazy. Although he did not specify which agencies or programs he would slash, he promised to decrease spending by 10% by 2027 and to freeze state spending in the first few years of his plan.

Nearly 40% of the state general fund allocation is allocated to education. If he were to protect education from his 10% spending cut, he would have to make significant cuts to other programs, such as health insurance for low-income Minnesotans and people with disabilities, public safety, which would appear to contradict his promise to lower crime, colleges and universities, and highways.

Jensen would reduce the amounts in the top two individual income tax brackets—those Minnesotans with the highest taxable income—by half over the course of the first four years. He would take 75% off the bottom two figures.

The GOP candidate claimed that these cuts would be profitable: According to the audio of Jensen, “I think there’s a damned decent possibility that we will become such a blazing, Midwest economic center.” We should endeavor to do it because if we don’t, we will never know.

In 2012, Kansas made a similar attempt. The outcome was not outstanding economically, and the Republican-controlled legislature was compelled to raise taxes in order to stop damaging budget cutbacks.

Under Jensen’s plan, the wealthiest Minnesotans would get the most of the benefits. High-income earners would still benefit from a 75% tax reduction because they pay those tax rates as well and would still get a sizable tax decrease.

Jensen would still need to find more funding to fill the gap despite his planned expenditure reductions and limitations. Jensen advises the state to use its $9 billion budget surplus if it needs more money.

The issue is that Jensen wants to slash taxes permanently but the surplus might disappear.

Neva Butkus, a state policy analyst at the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy, stated that while the tax cuts were transitory, the surpluses were not. “That money won’t be available forever. It cannot be sustained.

The new information regarding a Jensen tax cut proposal contradicts Jensen’s earlier claims that he would utilize the sales tax to offset the loss of the income tax, particularly by taxing items like food and clothes that are presently exempt from tax in Minnesota. Due to the regressive nature of sales taxes, those with lower incomes would be more negatively impacted by a rise.

He may have changed his mind since he has already experienced political backlash for his proposal to raise the sales tax. The sales tax idea was described as “off the rails insane” by Governor Tim Walz in a tweet. As he has said previously regarding contentious and evolving opinions on abortion, legalizing marijuana, and weapons, Jensen said he was only “brainstorming” the notion to start a discussion.

After Walz declined to participate in the live debate on television, Jensen spoke on the KSTP debate stage by himself on Sunday to promote his tax proposal. According to him, it operates from “a spreadsheet perspective.”

Former Department of Revenue commissioner Cynthia Bauerly, who served under governors Tim Walz and Mark Dayton, said in an email that Jensen’s hazy promises and initiatives would make it difficult for Minnesotan individuals and companies to prepare for their financial futures.

According to Bauerly, “that’s a fairly large bet for Minnesotans’ economic and personal life.” “Some of us would prefer a bit more assurance about the future of our state.”



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