Letter to editor stock art - old mailbox

As a native Minnesotan, I’ve learned that the state tax base is substantial when you combine what is paid by individuals and businesses alike.

Minnesota is currently sitting on a record shattering $9.25 billion tax surplus. Some say it even exceeds $10 billion. In addition to the tax surplus the legislature by law has carved out an additional $2.7 billion to fund the rainy day fund.

On March 17, Gov. Tim Walz announced his tax refund plan to residents of Minnesota. The plan said that single people making less than $164,400 per year would receive a $500 refund, while married couples making less than $273,470 would receive a $1,000 refund.

Minnesota’s population is 5.6 million, but the plan from Walz will provide refunds to only 2.7 million. So, let’s do some calculations. If the entire tax surplus of $9.25 billion were paid to all 5.6 million residents, that equals $1,652 per person. If $9.25 billion of the tax surplus was paid to only 2.7 million residents (that’s the number Walz quoted), that equals $3,426 per person.

Why is the governor advocating for such a small tax refund to certain residents? Why is it that single people making $164,400 or more and married people making $273,470 or more won’t receive a tax refund after paying handsomely into the state tax coffers?

Why not refund the tax surplus proportionately to those that paid the taxes? Clearly, they have paid a significant amount of income taxes and under his proposal their taxes will simply be refunded to those that paid less taxes or perhaps none at all.

I don’t know how to best define the governor’s plan but it seems like the perfect trifecta of wealth redistribution, confiscation and theft.

It would make my day to see just one journalist do some investigative reporting with the persistence of a dog on a bone regarding the record tax surplus. I have yet to see one of them address and truly give this story the attention it deserves while providing information and answers for Minnesotans.

Rest assured that whatever amount of the tax surplus is not refunded, it will be spent with little to no accountability. The baseline for spending will be reset resulting in even higher amounts of spending in future years.

Kevin Weber