Citizens League will host Nov. 14 forum on tax fairnessResident can make their voices heard on tax reform
By: Emily Zimmer, Rosemount Town Pages
Tax reform will likely be an issue for the Minnesota Legislature in 2013 and the Citizens League wants to lend the citizen voice to the conversation.
The league will hold an open workshop in Rosemount from 6 to 8 p.m. Nov. 14 at the Robert Trail Library. Stacy Becker, who is running the workshops for the Citizens League, said the goal is to provide a safe place where people of all political viewpoints can express their views on tax fairness.
Becker said through the workshops they league aims to get past the rhetoric and have a much broader conversation. So far the league has held a number of workshops, engaging nearly 300 people in the conversation.
“We’ve gotten a good cross section of people,” said Becker.
Whatever comes from the sessions, the group will share its findings with the Minnesota Department of Revenue, which will put together a tax reform proposal to introduce in the upcoming legislative session.
So far Becker said they have found some consistencies across the board. Those findings include: fairness is the top priority for Minnesotans on tax reform but not the only one; only 3 percent say that Minnesota’s tax system is as fair as possible; definitions of fairness vary and there is no consensus; no matter the system in place, most won’t find it fair unless they believe they are getting a good value for what they pay; and tax fairness is about spending reform and value. Additionally, the political discussion around the 47 percent of Americans who pay no federal income tax obscures the fact that virtually every adult Minnesotan pays state and local taxes.
Becker said during the workshop they will provide some basic information and then ask participants a series of questions to gauge their feelings on a number of topics. She added the workshops are informative and nonpartisan.
For more information – including a rough estimate of the total state and local taxes an individual pays – or to register for upcoming workshops, go to www.commoncentsmn.org.