Dayton’s New Year’s Resolution: Hike Taxes On Middle Class

St. Paul- Minnesota Jobs Coalition President Mark Drake today issued the following statement in response to Gov. Mark Dayton’s announcement that he plans to push for gasoline and sales tax increases in 2015.

“Mark Dayton promised Minnesotans he would not raise taxes on the middle class, but he’s now pushing a plan to raise gas taxes and hike the metro sales tax. Minnesotans deserve to know if Tom Bakk, Paul Thissen and the other DFL legislators agree with Dayton’s plans to hike taxes on the middle class.”


Dayton’s Proposes Gas, Sales Tax Hikes


“Gov. Mark Dayton is preparing to go all in on a highway-and-transit upgrade package that could cost drivers a dime or more extra on a gallon of gas and metro shoppers a nickel more on every $10 taxable purchase…” (“Transportation, education top Dayton’s to-do list,” The Associated Press, December 29, 2014)

Wholesale Tax On Gas Is “Cornerstone” Of Plan. “As Dayton spoke, he drew a cheat sheet from his pocket with calculations about various funding mechanisms, including a new wholesale tax on gas that is emerging as the cornerstone of his plan. The sales tax would be distinct from and possibly in addition to the 28.5 cent per gallon tax now assessed at the pump. Because it would be based on purchase size, the tax would fluctuate as gas prices do. So at today’s average of $2.15, the wholesale tax almost certain to be passed on to consumers would be about 12 cents per gallon. As fuel prices rise, so would the tax bill.”(“Transportation, education top Dayton’s to-do list,” The Associated Press, December 29, 2014)

Dayton “Eyeing” Half-Cent Sales Tax In Metro. “In addition to that tax, Dayton is eyeing a half-cent sales tax in the metropolitan area to pay for mass-transit projects and favors diverting an existing tax on leased vehicles to a fund that would pay for greater Minnesota transit needs. Dayton said he’s open to other ideas —‘As long as it’s honest and adds up to the money necessary to make a difference.’” (“Transportation, education top Dayton’s to-do list,” The Associated Press, December 29, 2014)


Dayton Promised He Wouldn’t Raise Taxes On Middle Class


Flashback: Dayton Vowed He Would Not Raises Taxes On The Middle Class. “Dayton criticized Bakk’s proposal because it would increase taxes on financially distressed middle-class families. ‘I will raise taxes on the rich, not the rest of Minnesota,’ he said.” (Bill Salisbury, “Tax the rich? Is it that simple? – Some governor hopefuls say it won’t cure deficit,” St. Paul Pioneer Press, December 13, 2009)

“’I will raise taxes on the wealthiest 10 percent of the people in Minnesota,’ Dayton said. ‘I will not raise taxes on the other 90 percent.’”  (Rachel Stassen-Berger, “Social issues kick off debate,” Star Tribune, October 15, 2009)

Dayton Says We “Cannot Ask” Middle-Class Families To Pay More. “No one feels rich in this economy, but we can’t ask the middle class to do more, and so while it’s not easy we need to ask those doing the best to do a little more. We simply cannot ask middle-class working families to pay more in these tough times. Many families are already at their breaking point. Higher property taxes caused by cuts to local governments, or higher sales taxes on items like clothing or car repair will hit the middle class and small business hard.” (“On the Issues: Taxes and Budget”,, October 28, 2010 accessed via

“Republican Tom Emmer, Independence Party candidate Tom Horner and Democrat Mark Dayton all agree this is not the time to raise Minnesota’s gasoline tax.”    (Dan Olson, “Despite agreement on gas tax, gov. candidates have varied plans for transportation,” Minnesota Public Radio, Oct. 29, 2010)

DFL Leaders Thissen, Bakk And Dayton Pledge To Protect Middle-Class Minnesotans. “We need to take bold action to put our state on a path to long-term economic prosperity. It is time for a new approach—one that is fair, responsible and does not place the burden for solving our budget issues on the backs of middle-class families.” (Paul Thissen, Tom Bakk & Mark Dayton, “Time to move Minnesota forward together,” St. Paul Pioneer Press, Jan. 19, 2013)

Dayton Promised “Fair And Balanced Budget.” “Governor Dayton is committed to a fair and balanced budget that does not raise taxes overall on the middle class.” (Mark Dayton post on Facebook, April 29, 2013)

Dayton Against Raising The Gas Tax Before He Was For It. “The three leaders also have parted ways on a gas tax. House and Senate leaders had pushed an increase they said would fund needed road and transit projects, but Dayton stopped them short. The proposed increase, he said, would prompt a huge outcry from motorists at a time when prices at the pump already top $3.50 per gallon and the increase would bring in just a fraction of the money needed.’ I said from the very beginning of the session that I was against the gas tax, so I was surprised that they were surprised,’ Dayton said.’ I don’t think people want to pay more tax money to watch things become maybe not quite as worse as they would be otherwise,’ Dayton said.” (Baird Helgeson and Rachel Stassen-Berger “Dayton draws line on scope of tax hikes in Minnesota,” Star Tribune, April 29, 2013)

Dayton Says Opposition To Middle-Class Taxes Is “Foundational.” “Gov. Mark Dayton says he will draw the line at any spending plan that raises overall taxes on the middle class…’That position is about as foundational as anything, as I go into negotiations,’ Dayton said in an interview with the Star Tribune.” (Baird Helgeson and Rachel Stassen-Berger, “Dayton draws line on scope of tax hikes in Minnesota,” Star Tribune, April 29, 2013)