During his first State of the State address, Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton says he will propose wealthy Minnesotans pay higher taxes. He suggests that the tax would be temporary allowing the state of Minnesota to recover from the financial mess it is in.
Governor Dayton said:
“Some will criticize me for proposing next week to ask those successful businessmen and women and other wealthy Minnesotans to pay higher taxes.
I ask them for their forbearance during this fiscal crisis, which I did not create, but inherited, and now, with you in the Legislature, must solve.
I ask Minnesota’s business leaders and other most successful citizens to give us two years to turn this Ship of State around. Not by savaging essential public services, upon which you and your employees also depend, but rather by transforming the ways in which government operates here in Minnesota.
And, with your help, to reduce the need for those services by putting people back to work throughout our state.
My Father’s favorite quote was from The Bible. “To whomsoever much has been given, of him shall much be required.”
You have achieved so much. I ask you, please, to help your state, your children and grandchildren, your friends and neighbors, to regain what you and I have enjoyed so much and benefitted from so greatly during our lives here in Minnesota. Please – help us restore Minnesota to greatness.
I invite you to contribute your expertise to help us regain that greatness – at the state level, and at the county, city, township, and school district levels.
Adopt a school. Volunteer in one of them. Teach a social service agency how to become more cost-efficient. Help the legislature and me to balance the state’s budget more wisely. Contribute your ideas, your talents, and your wisdom. We need you now more than ever.
In closing, I ask all Minnesotans for the same forbearance. I ask not to be finally judged by the budget I am required to submit next week.
I ask you to remember that I was not given a blank slate on which to write my best proposals for our state’s future. Neither was the Legislature. We were left a horrendous fiscal mess, a decade of economic decline, and state agencies poorly managed.
All of that must be turned around. All of it will be turned around, but not by tomorrow, and not entirely by the end of this legislative session.
WE WILL, however, TURN IT AROUND – and move Minnesota ahead once again – to reclaim our former greatness.
I approach this monumental assignment with the utmost dedication and determination. I know Lt. Governor Prettner Solon and our exceptional Cabinet do as well.
I believe our 201 Legislators feel that same awesome responsibility.
I urge them to approach their difficult decisions, as I do, with caution and care.
We will be properly judged by effects of our decisions and actions on the lives of our fellow Minnesotans — this year, next year, and for years to come. Whether we make their lives better or worse.
Together, we must shape a strategy that will create a better Minnesota, for all of us and for all who will follow us.
We must reverse Minnesota’s past decline. And return our state to a path of growth, success, and prosperity.
We can; we must; and we will.
By all of us working together. . .
To get Minnesota working again.