ST. PAUL, Minn. – As Republicans on Capitol Hill prepare to unveil their federal tax reform bill, one state senator has some “big, bold” ideas for tax reform here in Minnesota.
Sen. Roger Chamberlain (R-Lino Lakes), Chair of the Senate Taxes Committee, believes it is time Minnesotans have a conversation about tax reform.
“Our tax system is complicated, it’s burdensome, it’s abusive, and it’s antiquated,” Chamberlain told Alpha News. “We need a system that is fair, simpler, more predictable, and sustainable.”
In a video posted to Minnesota Senate Republican Caucus’ Facebook page, Chamberlain challenges Gov. Mark Dayton to put aside the “same old, same old” and start discussing some “big, bold” ideas for tax reform. Chamberlain’s “bold” tax reform starts with getting rid of the state income tax system, which he says is “used as a club to beat taxpayers over the head.” Instead, Chamberlain proposes a consumption-based tax system, like a sales tax.
“If people want to do something for the citizens [of Minnesota], you get rid of the income tax. It is a pay raise for everybody,” Chamberlain told Alpha News. “A consumption-based tax is where we need to go. Many states do survive on the sales tax, and we can do the same.”
“The income tax is more volatile than a sales tax over time. It is much more sensitive to changes in the economy and markets. It is not set for the 21st century,” Chamberlain added.
Chamberlain says Minnesota’s current tax system “chases people away” and believes comprehensive tax reform would help keep individuals and businesses in the state. With Minnesota losing more residents to other states than it gains, creating a more fair tax system is the key to retaining residents, according to Chamberlain.
“Almost every business or CEO that I come across talks about the difficulty about finding talent and keeping them here. We are in the top five worst tax systems in the country, and that keeps people away,” Chamberlain said.
Changes to the state’s tax structure may not seem imminent, however, Chamberlain believes federal tax reform could help open the door to tax reform in Minnesota. While the official tax reform bill has yet to be revealed, the current proposal threatens to eliminate the state income tax deduction. In a press release earlier this week, Dayton criticized the move calling it one of the “most offensive proposals” that would cost Minnesotans $12.3 billion per year.
Chamberlain admits the eliminating the state income tax deduction would negatively affect some Minnesotans, but believes it will help the state “take its medicine” and address tax reform.
“Minnesota is an extremely high taxed state. What has happened for years, at the federal level, is that the rest of the country subsidizes these high taxed states. They have been able to hide these abusive taxes and fees with the aid of the federal government,” Chamberlain said. “It might be a little tricky, but it will force Minnesota to finally take its medicine. The high taxed states will no longer be able to hide behind the federal tax system to continue to abuse its citizens.”
“This is a long road, but we need people to have a conversation about it otherwise it never changes,” Chamberlain said.
Watch Chamberlain address his tax reform ideas below:
Senator Roger Chamberlain: Unsurprisingly, Gov. Dayton was quick to criticize one piece of the president's tax plan, but where are the big ideas to position Minnesota for the future? The income tax is used as a club to beat taxpayers over the head. Let's talk about getting rid of it.
Posted by Minnesota Senate Republican Caucus on Monday, October 30, 2017