LET Temporary surcharge is in order
Minnesota is in a budget crisis. The governor's budget proposal will have real consequences to people in the state.
Southeastern Minnesota communities will have substantial reductions in state assistance. Services we all depend on, such as federal matching funds to cities and counties will decrease due to cuts. Cuts to state health programs may result in costs being passed on to hospitals, increasing health care costs. Outstate Minnesota cities are to take larger cuts than suburban cities.
Donations to charities and food shelves are down. Some food shelves have been turning families away. Minnesota homeless shelters and battered women's shelters may have to turn away additional people.
Minnesota family values mean that in tough times all members of the family help out. Current budget proposals suggest that poor and elderly people may lose services. State, county and city workers may have wages frozen. Students may have tuition hikes. Children may lose access to health care. Legal immigrants may lose cash and food assistance.
It is time for Minnesotans who are in comfortable circumstances to share the pain by increasing charitable giving and paying higher taxes.
A temporary, progressive income tax surcharge has worked in the past and would work now. This middle path of some cut in services, increasing some user fees, and some raising of revenue is a reasonable way to solve this state budget crisis.