Lohmer: Dayton tax plan hits middle class hard

Rep. Kathy Lohmer
Rep. Kathy Lohmer

As many of you know, Gov. Mark Dayton released his budget proposal to the legislature on Jan. 22. Since then, I have had the opportunity to learn more details about the governor’s proposal. I am deeply concerned that the governor’s budget plan will impact middle-class Minnesotans hardest in their daily lives.

Imagine waking in the morning and reading the newspaper. Under Dayton’s tax plan, thousands of Minnesotans would pay more for a subscription to their morning paper.

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

Then, you have to drive back to your house because the plumber is coming to fix a leaky pipe. 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 arrive to work at an accounting company or a law firm and get 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 Dayton, your sandwich costs more.

Before you head back to the office, you run a quick errand to get your sick child 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 pick up your child from school and then off to piano lessons. Under Dayton’s tax plan, you’ll pay more for piano lessons because of the sales tax on personal instruction.

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

Your bank account and wallet are feeling significantly lighter and the day isn’t done. To withdraw cash from the ATM machine, you notice the service fee is higher thanks to 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 Dayton’s tax plan, you’re paying more for a simple trim.

Before you 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 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 or a nightmare. It’s life under Dayton’s proposed tax plan for Minnesota.

Kathy Lohmer represents Minnesota House District 39B. She can be reached at 651-296-4244, email at [email protected] or by mail at 239 State Office Building, St. Paul, MN, 55155.