Dahle: Price of Government Continues to Fall
Thursday, November 05, 2015 10:25 AM
by Sen. Kevin Dahle
For all the talk of high taxes during every election season, Minnesotans are actually paying less of their income to state taxes than last year, continuing a 20-year decline in the average price of government.
A recent report from Minnesota Management and Budget (MMB) has revealed that the price of government has continued to decline this past year, to 15.2 cents of each dollar earned by Minnesotans.
The price of government is an official measurement calculated every year by MMB. Over the past 20 years, the price of government has fallen by 11.7 percent. Projections estimate that this trend will continue over the next five years, reaching a record low rate of 14.6 cents on the dollar in 2019. This contrasts sharply with the 17.9 percent of income paid in 1994, when the measure was put in place. Since that time, the average price of government has been 16.1 percent of personal income.
The price of government reflects the cost of all general government services provided by both state and local governments. The measure is incredibly comprehensive in tracking all revenues collected by Minnesotan government units, including income, property, and sales taxes, as well as state fees, motor vehicle taxes, and taxes on gambling, tobacco, health care, and other fees and charges. Minnesota’s price of government doesn’t include federal taxes or spending.
A declining price of government means than the state has been very careful to help family budgets by offering more and more efficient government services and investing carefully in our long-term economic growth. Careful stewardship of taxpayer resources is a role all elected officials are tasked with, and it is one I take very seriously in the Minnesota Senate. Continuing to decrease the price of government shows that taxpayers are paying less of their income for public services, have more money left in their pockets, and makes it clear that Minnesota is on the right track.