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Are tax breaks same as spending?

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) -- The Republican chairwoman of the Minnesota Senate Taxes Committee said Wednesday that exemptions to the state's sales, income, property and corporate taxes are a form of government spending, and that closing some could be a part of GOP efforts to eliminate the state's $6 billion budget shortfall.

Sen. Julianne Ortman, R-Chanhassen, made her comments after the Minnesota Department of Revenue released a report detailing tax breaks that riddle the state's tax code. Some of the most widely known are popular sales tax exemptions on clothing and food purchases, and the mortgage interest deduction to the individual income tax. There are hundreds more that together add up to billions in lost revenue to the state, from sales tax exemptions on a number of professional services to income tax breaks for working families, charitable deductions, child care and long-term care.

Ortman did not specify which tax breaks might be targeted but said she and fellow lawmakers will review that in the coming weeks. That could cause conflict among those statehouse Republicans who say eliminating tax breaks is the same as a tax increase, including Ortman's House counterpart, House Taxes Committee Chairman Greg Davids.

Ortman said protecting special carve-outs that only benefit certain taxpayers forces overall tax rates higher.

"What we're doing is forgoing revenue," Ortman said. "We should be viewing each of these expenditures as a spending program, and we came here to review every single aspect of state spending."

Answer Question
 
sweet-a-kins

Asked by sweet-a-kins at 9:44 AM on Feb. 24, 2011 in Politics & Current Events

Level 34 (67,502 Credits)
Answers (30)
  • sweet-a-kins

    Comment by sweet-a-kins (original poster) at 9:44 AM on Feb. 24, 2011

  • Ortman said protecting special carve-outs that only benefit certain taxpayers forces overall tax rates higher.


     "What we're doing is forgoing revenue," Ortman said. "We should be viewing each of these expenditures as a spending program, and we came here to review every single aspect of state spending."


    The Department of Revenue's "Tax Expenditure Review Report" found that tax breaks escape the scrutiny applied to most state spending. That's because direct spending requires legislative re-authorization every two years, while tax breaks once on the book are not subject to regular review. Few have fixed expiration dates.

    sweet-a-kins

    Comment by sweet-a-kins (original poster) at 9:48 AM on Feb. 24, 2011

  •  


    The report found exemptions to the state's individual income tax would, if closed, generate more than 50 percent more than the total revenue currently collected. Sales tax exemptions are proportionally even bigger: The total amount lost to sales tax breaks actually exceeds the amount of money generated by the tax.

    sweet-a-kins

    Comment by sweet-a-kins (original poster) at 9:48 AM on Feb. 24, 2011

  • To say breaks and cuts are spending is the equivilent of saying that all earned income belongs to the government and they decide how much of it they will give to you.  i.e. communism, socialism etc...  So in short, Ortman is a stupid woman.  But I am sure you are just gloating over the R behind her name.

    Carpy

    Answer by Carpy at 9:57 AM on Feb. 24, 2011

  •  


    To say breaks and cuts are spending is the equivilent of saying that all earned income belongs to the government and they decide how much of it they will give to you.  i.e. communism, socialism etc...  So in short, Ortman is a stupid woman.  But I am sure you are just gloating over the R behind her name.


     


    Good to see you refused to educate yourself and READ the WHOLE thing.....keep it Capry



    sweet-a-kins

    Comment by sweet-a-kins (original poster) at 10:00 AM on Feb. 24, 2011

  • I'll wait until I can read what MotherJones says about the issue.
    jewjewbee

    Answer by jewjewbee at 10:04 AM on Feb. 24, 2011

  • Good to see you refused to educate yourself and READ the WHOLE thing.....keep it Capry

    I read the whole thing. I disagree with it and if to educate myself means becoming a commie like you, I will stay stupid.
    Carpy

    Answer by Carpy at 10:10 AM on Feb. 24, 2011

  •  

    Good to see you refused to educate yourself and READ the WHOLE thing.....keep it Capry

    I read the whole thing. I disagree with it and if to educate myself means becoming a commie like you, I will stay stupid.

    Your words....

    no one asked you to agree with me.....so ....yea...stay ......................................................................................................^^^^^^^

    sweet-a-kins

    Comment by sweet-a-kins (original poster) at 10:11 AM on Feb. 24, 2011

  • Ortman said protecting special carve-outs that only benefit certain taxpayers forces overall tax rates higher.


    THIS is what was referred to...SPECIAL tax breaks that ONLY benefit some taxpayers,,,,,

    sweet-a-kins

    Comment by sweet-a-kins (original poster) at 10:12 AM on Feb. 24, 2011

  • Ortman said protecting special carve-outs that only benefit certain taxpayers forces overall tax rates higher protecting carve-outs for those who never pay taxes would be considered the same. This too causes taxes to be higher. Hypocrite.

    Anonymous

    Answer by Anonymous at 10:18 AM on Feb. 24, 2011

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