Growth & Justice is partnering with OneMN.org to convene a statewide gathering in the historic and scenic western Minnesota town of Granite Falls, from June 27-29. Attendees will help create a unifying “One Minnesota Equity Blueprint’’ with public policies and a new socio-economic contract that heals our damaging divisions: the rural-metro divide, racial disparities, and overall economic inequality. For more information on how you might attend for all or part of the gathering, see our webpage for the event, entitled “Thriving by Design, Rural & Urban Together.” Registration and delegate application opens next week.
Growth & Justice President Jane Leonard will be a featured presenter and panelist at a convening of the Main Street Alliance, a coalition of small business owners, on “Tax Day’’ next week. Growth & Justice has partnered recently with the Alliance in mutual support of legislative proposals for more public investment in affordable health-care for their workers, child-care assistance, and infrastructure improvements. The Main Street Alliance’s agenda meshes well with our own Minnesota Rural Equity Project’s 2018 legislative priorities for more equitable economic growth, particularly on Main Streets in Greater Minnesota. The “Small Business Morning’’ event will take place from 8:30 to 11:30 a.m., April 17, in the Cass Gilbert Library, Room 317A, at the State Capitol. It is open to the public but attendees should notify Corinne Horowitz by calling 612-232-1655, or by e-mail, at Corinne@mainstreetalliance.org.
Growth & Justice has long championed the principle that taxes are a necessary and worthwhile price we pay, in our legitimate representative democracy, for a civilized and more equitable society. Taxes provide hugely important public investments in human capital, health, economic security, and physical infrastructure, all of which are actually conducive to business growth. As Tax Day approaches, with its predictable protests against taxes and our governments, we highly recommend Revenue Commissioner Cynthia Bauerly’s recent op-ed, advancing Gov. Dayton’s proposals to conform with the recent federal tax overhaul. Bauerly makes a strong case for the proposal’s effort to mitigate some of the regressive impacts of that overhaul, which primarily helped wealthy individuals and corporations. Under Dayton’s conformity proposal, Minnesota families would realize $319 million in individual income tax relief, and small businesses and farmers would see tax cuts totaling $186 million. A new, permanent tax credit would reduce taxes an average of $117 for 1.9 million eligible Minnesota families and an expanded Working Family Credit would give 329,000 additional households a tax break averaging $160. Small businesses and farmers would save $100 million for expenses on the equipment they need to run and grow their operations. It further would reduce taxes for college students’ tuition, and help senior citizens qualify sooner for property tax breaks. Recent unsustainable tax cuts passed by the 2017 Legislature for tobacco companies, wealthy heirs and big business would be repealed. Bauerly concluded: “The governor’s tax plan prioritizes low- and middle-income families and small businesses because big businesses and the wealthy already fared very well under new federal tax laws – in fact, the new federal laws gave 92 percent of the net total of the tax savings – or $1.35 trillion – to corporations.’’
“Taxation is the price which we pay for civilization, for our social, civil and political institutions, for the security of life and property, and without which, we must resort to the law of force.” Statement from a committee of the Vermont Legislature in 1852, repeated in various ways many times before and since, and attributed most often to U.S. Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes. (See webpage from the, Quote Investigator)