4:48 PM | Posted in ,
Ever since my conversation with Rob Jacobs, DFL candidate for House District 14A, I have been increasingly impressed with his willingness to pull no punches and go after Dan Severson on the issues that matter most to the people of the district. While Severson relegates himself to wedge issues, Jacobs has been hammering away at him on issues such as property taxes and overall tax equity. It comes as no surprise that Severson would be opposed to tax fairness given that he is opposed to most fairness.

From the St. Cloud Times:

Your turn: Under Severson, wealthy don’t pay a fair share

By Rob Jacobs
Candidate, House 14A

On April 30, House 14A Rep. Dan Severson wrote about what he called a “steady stream of substantial tax increases” enacted by the legislative majority.

The only example he gave was the transportation bill. He pointed out that he believes it is better to fund transportation on the state’s credit card rather than the “pay as you go” system that was passed this winter.

My campaign is focusing on a vision of a fair distribution of the tax burden for all Minnesotans. Most people I have spoken with agree that Severson has failed to ensure that everyone pays their fair share of taxes.

I have covered the continuing fallacy that is the Republican argument against the Transportation Bill. If Severson really wants to rehash the obvious, we can always go back to the legislative auditor report on the condition of highways and bridges within Minnesota. In it they lay considerable blame on the condition of those roads on the increasing use of bonding to pay for them.

We have seen a very unfair shifting of the tax burden. The things we value most — education, health care, transportation and public safety — have all been shifted to our local property taxes. This shift has occurred under Severson’s watch and he has consistently supported this regressive method of taxation, all the while telling us there are “no new taxes.”

He has supported an increase in fees that will cost Minnesotans an additional $530 million this year.

The Minnesota Department of Revenue recently released its annual incidence study, which shows how much individuals and families are paying in state and local taxes.

This study proves that there has been a steady shifting of Minnesota’s tax burden onto lower- and middle-income Minnesotans and away from the wealthiest Minnesotans.

Most of that shift has been caused by property tax increases. Since 2002, when Severson was first elected, there has been a $1.6 billion increase to individual property taxes. That is an 81.7 percent increase on Minnesota homeowners in the six years that Severson has been in office.

While the tax burden has shifted to the lower- and middle class, the wealthiest Minnesotans have enjoyed a tax break.

The wealthiest Minnesotans, many making more than $1 million per year, pay a smaller percentage of income taxes than people making less. If these folks paid the same as the rest of us, not more, just the same, Minnesota would take in close to $500 million annually. That represents almost half of our current budget shortfall!

The legislative majority that Severson criticizes made at least four attempts to fix this tax disparity in 2007, but he voted against every one of their tax fairness initiatives.

These attempts would have provided significant and permanent property tax relief for homeowners, farmers and small-business owners, and increased Local Government Aid.

Those bills either died in committee or were vetoed by the governor even though they would have increased income taxes on only 1 percent of Minnesota filers.

Eighty-one percent of the additional revenue would have come from taxpayers making more than $1 million per year.

“The voters who elected me need to know I have their backs,” Severson says.

If you are fortunate enough to be making over $1 million per year, he does “have your back.”

The rest of us need to watch our backs and quit being fooled by the “no new taxes” plan. This plan has shifted the tax burden, through increased property taxes and fees, to those who can least afford to pay.

The tax incidence studies Mr. Jacobs speaks of can be found here. It is often said on the right that by lowering the tax on the "producers" we can build the wealth of those at the bottom. Unfortunately, that theory has not born out and many of us who are sitting at the bottom of the tax scale are sitting patiently waiting to be trickled on. Severson hopes and prays this will happen but as they say, you can hope in one hand and crap in the other and see which gets filled first.

Another golden oldie of the right wingers is that we cannot tax our way to prosperity. While that may hold some truth to it, I would posit that neither can we starve our way to prosperity.

Keep writing, Mr. Jacobs, and to those of you who liked his message I would encourage you to send a donation his way because a candidate cannot live on letters to the editor alone. If you financially unable to make a donation, consider signing up as a volunteer. Take action and we can defeat Severson in the fall.

Contributions can be made out to the "Elect Rob Jacobs Committee" and mailed to the following address:

Elect Rob Jacobs Committee
9545 Sucker Creek Rd NW
Rice, MN 56367


4 responses to "Rob Jacobs Takes The Fight To Severson"

  1. Gary Gross On May 16, 2008 at 11:50 PM

    It's fair to enact a regressive tax? There isn't an economist alive that won't admit that the gas tax is regressive.

    Furthermore, it isn't fair to simply call it a gas tax. There's also a license tab fee increase & a metro sales tax to pay for transit. there's even a provision that lets the metro counties expand the tax outside the metro area. If the bill hadn't been vetoed, people living in rural areas would've been paying for transit projects in downtown Minneapolis.

    BTW, that's before considering the fact that the DFL legislature rammed the bill through without a provision letting voters decide the tax increase's fate.

    You'd best bring your A game if you're gonna try cherrypicking a bill's provisions while omitting other parts of the bills.

  2. Anonymous On May 17, 2008 at 4:01 AM

    Bring your boy against Rep. Severson in a debate. I can't wait for that impending disaster from your man crush.

    Now I will go shame myself for commenting on your blog and giving you the impression that anybody cares what you write.

  3. Political Muse On May 17, 2008 at 9:43 AM

    Your biting wit is so hurtful I just have no idea how I will be able to go on knowing that an anonymous commenter doesn't like my writing.

    How will I ever go on...

  4. Political Muse On May 17, 2008 at 9:59 AM

    Also anonymous, I have to wonder which legislator you could be or which legislator you work for considering that you arrived at this location from the House mail server (http://webmail.house.mn).

    Interesting that a surrogate of Dan Severson would start accusing people of being gay.