People’s House Series: In Minnesota, We Fix The Potholes Together

Minnesota State Capitol Building

In Minnesota, we fix the potholes together.

As Minnesotans, we care deeply about each other. We value freedom and opportunity for all. We know that our destinies are tied together.

That’s why, when it comes to questions about taxes and public investments, I know the question is really simple: What kind of world do we want to live in together?

Growing up in a loving family that lived on the financial brink my life was filled with physical and metaphorical potholes. We were one broken car, missed paycheck or unexpected bill away from not making ends meet. I knew it was public investments—in food, housing, and medical assistance—that smoothed our bumpy path, and kept my siblings and me safe and healthy.

As the snow melts and the potholes begin to show, I’ve been thinking a lot about the essential role of government in our lives.

None of us can get the health care we need on our own as individuals. We can’t build streets on our own. And we can’t rein in corporations from polluting our environment or exploiting working people on our own.

Our government is responsible for making sure all of us have the opportunity to live the American dream, and nobody is left behind. In Minnesota, we’re at our best when everyone contributes and the wealthiest pay their fair share in taxes.

But for too long we’ve been told the lie that says what’s good for corporations is good for people. As a result, we let powerful special interest groups get away without paying their fair share in taxes.  

This hurts all of us, and communities of color, Indigenous people and poor folks feel the pain sharpest. Our schools are underfunded. Our roads and bridges fall to disrepair. Public transit and housing projects stall out.

In Minnesota, we believe in tax fairness.

After the 2017 legislative session, TakeAction Minnesota wrote a piece that explained what happened in the tax bill. We called it “Millionaires in Skyscrapers Smoking Cigars.” 

It explains the deal that gave massive tax cuts to the those who need it the least –  the richest Minnesotans, big businesses, and tobacco companies, at the expense of those who need it most – us.

But, that is not the end of the story. This budget story—as always—is in the tails. Together, these special tax breaks increase by 40% in the FY20-21 budget. In other words, these corporate tax cuts get even bigger this year. This is wrong.

Governor Walz’s tax proposal addresses this. It’s balanced and responsible. In its budget targets, the Minnesota House goes even farther, closing corporate tax loopholes so we can pay for the state we want to live in.

Whether we’re talking about health care or safe roads, all of us should contribute and the wealthiest should pay their fair share in taxes.

Take your democracy back. Join TakeAction Minnesota today.

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