Rep. Lohmer: Dayton Budget Proposal Hits Middle Class Families Hardest

Lohmer describes a day in the life under Gov. Dayton's budget proposal.

As many of you know, Governor Dayton released his budget proposal to the legislature on Jan. 22. Since that time, I have had the opportunity to learn more about the details of this proposal. I am deeply concerned that the impact of the budget will hit middle class Minnesotans hardest in their every-day lives.

Imagine getting up in the morning to read the newspaper. Under Governor Dayton’s tax plan, thousands of Minnesotans would pay more for a subscription to their morning paper.

Next, it’s time to drop your kid off at the daycare center. Daycare, while already expensive, gives you the assurance that your children are having a safe, healthy and fun day. Unfortunately, under the governor’s tax plan, working parents would pay more for childcare services.

Then, you have to run back to your house because the plumber is coming to fix a leaky pipe. Governor Dayton’s proposal raises taxes on household repair services. Another hit to your wallet!

It’s been a busy and expensive morning already when you finally have arrived at work at an accounting company or a law firm and you just got news that your businesses is downsizing thanks to the new business-to-business tax under the governor’s budget.

To get a break from it all, you grab lunch at a local sandwich shop. Under the metro sales tax proposed by Governor Dayton, your sandwich costs more.

Before you head back to the office, you need to run a quick errand to get your sick child some cold medicine at Target. To your surprise, the cost of over-the-counter medications has gone up because of the governor’s tax sales tax on such medicine.

After being back at work for several hours, it’s time to head out so you can pick up your child from school and then off to piano lessons. Under Governor Dayton’s tax plan, you’ll be paying more for piano lessons because of the sales tax on personal instruction.

While your child is at piano lessons, you run to get your oil changed on your car. The governor’s tax plan increases taxes on oil changes and auto repairs, which are already pretty expensive for your budget.

Your bank account and wallet are feeling significantly lighter and the day isn’t even over yet. To withdraw cash from the ATM machine, you notice the service fee is higher thanks to Governor Dayton’s increased taxes on bank fees. Now you get to keep even less of your hard-earned money.

After looking at your watch, you notice you have time to hit the gym before picking up your child at piano lessons. Except now, the price of staying healthy has gone up with the governor’s tax on gym memberships.

After picking up your child from pianos lessons, it’s time for their haircut. With the sales tax on personal services under Governor Dayton’s tax plan, you’re paying more for a simple trim.

Before you finally get home, you stop to get tickets for the winter carnival for your family and discover the price of admission is higher than last year. Now you must pay more for admission to events under the governor’s tax plan.

After you’ve made it home, had dinner, and helped your kids with their homework, you want to download that new Justin Bieber single that you secretly love. With the new tax on digital downloads, you’re going to have to pay more to listen to your favorite guilty pleasure.

When it’s finally time to rest your head on your pillow and go to sleep, remember that the day you had wasn’t a dream and it wasn’t a nightmare. It’s life under Governor Dayton’s tax plan for Minnesota.

HHF34 February 01, 2013 at 03:57 AM
Sad part is, even if Republicans suggest any changes, the ruling party in St. Paul won't let them put a word in edgewise. Let's see, a work coat for working outdoors is easily more than $100... Then you multiply that by the husband and kids... Then there are gym shoes for school which after age, say 11, are at least $80 on a good day, but usually more like over $100... Let's not forget the steel toe work boots that meet OSHA standards, yep, over $100 easily again... Oh, that's fine, you work in an office, when's the last time you bought a business suit, pants and jacket will easily go over $100 each.. Then there's daycare which Minnesota already is close to the top of the list in cost to families... For one little guy it's over $200/wk for a low-middle end of the road daycare provider. Figuring 7% tax (because let's face it, the ruling party will never get around to reductions in any tax), and most daycares require you to sign a contract to cover the entire year, That's $14+/week and more hours that a parent has to work in order to make ends meet, and equals about $728 more per year in daycare costs for a family when both parents don't have the luxury of having one parent stay at home. Thanks Governor Dayton and the ruling party in St. Paul for another fine example of what economists call "The Law of Unintended Consequences"...
Edward February 01, 2013 at 06:35 PM
"Let's see, a work coat for working outdoors is easily more than $100... " No it isn't. I've gotten great coats for under $100 at Lands End Outlet. I bought two beautiful winter coats at Goodwill for $20 each. It's easy to find good quality winter coats for less than $100. You need to get out more. "Then there are gym shoes for school which after age, say 11, are at least $80 on a good day, but usually more like over $100... " If your kids are manipulating/convincing you to pay over $100 for shoes then you've got a bad parenting problem. I've never spent more than $30 for my kids shoes, up through high school. My daughter was delighted when she found a nice pair on sale at an outlet store for $10. She also bought several pairs from Salvation Army and Goodwill -- all for less than $10. One pair was almost new and originally sold for around $200. You need to be more creative about your shopping. It's easy to outfit a kid for very little, especially if you shop the consignment and second hand stores. In Woodbury there are a lot of affluent people tossing nice stuff. "Let's not forget the steel toe work boots that meet OSHA standards, $100 easily again... " My family members who do factory work (several of them) get these for free -- their employer pays for them. Most employers pay for them, and if not they are tax deductible.
Edward February 01, 2013 at 06:38 PM
"You work in an office, when's the last time you bought a business suit, pants and jacket will easily go over $100 each.." Most offices now have business casual dress codes (much cheaper). Last time I needed a suit I got one for $20 at Goodwill. The poor/middle class can dress well if they shop at the right places. I don't know where you get a 7% tax on daycare. The Dayton plan is a lowering/broadening of tax rates. I think it will be in the neighborhood of 2-3%. Of course your hyperbole and exaggeration might resonate with the free spending Republican (Tony Sutton model) crowd. Some of us know how to budget, spend wisely, and save.
Susan February 01, 2013 at 06:47 PM
Edward has this right. This fall I bought a gorgeous Columbia down winter coat at Kohls for just under $100. It retailed well over $200. Kohls (and most other retailers) have frequent sales, coupons, and promotions - I almost NEVER pay full price for anything at Kohls. Savings on shoes is easy; find it in a retail store, try it on for size and then go to Ebay; half the items on Ebay are now "New with tags" and can be purchased for 20-30% off the retail price. When my teenage son wanted the expensive clothes and shoes, I told him I would pay so much, and if he wanted more expensive, he needed to get a job and pay the difference himself. He did get a job, but more often than not, decided that he had worked hard for his money and would be happier with the less expensive, yet still fully functional, shoes and clothes. A savings and a learning experience....win, win.
Susan2 February 17, 2013 at 02:45 PM
Lets not get started with the small daycare providers, plumbers etc who will now have to collect and pay the taxes. More paperwork, red tape and time for already struggling small business owners.


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