Price of Government

MN Senate DFL Caucus
When people talk about the ‘Price of Government’ – what does that mean?
The ‘Price of Government’ is a measure of all state and local taxes collected statewide that help fund government services. In Minnesota, the price of government is going down.

But I keep hearing we’re increasing taxes and government spending is going up?
The Minnesota legislature balanced the budget this year through a mix of spending cuts and revenue increases that ask the state’s wealthiest earners to pay their fair share. The changes mean ALL Minnesotans are paying their fair share now – and that means as a whole, we’re all paying less of every dollar to state and local governments.

So, what does that mean for my family?
It means we’re making government cheaper – and that means at the end of the day, there’s more money in every Minnesotan’s pocket. In the last decade, we hit a high point in 2006 when we paid 16.2 cents of every dollar we earned to the government. Now that amount has fallen to 15.4 cents of every dollar – and projections show Minnesotans will continue to pay fewer dollars to the state and local governments every year through 2017, when we’ll pay just 14.6 cents! In fact, the projected price of government will hit the lowest mark in the last 20 years – proof that our DFL-led government has successfully balanced the budget and eased the tax burden on Minnesotan families.

So instead of the picture Republicans are painting – our future here in MN is looking better?
That’s right! And not only is the price of government going down, but so are other factors like property taxes. In 2014, statewide property taxes are estimated to be reduced for the first time in a decade.

Extra Facts:
2013 End-of-Session POG Report

Those of us with long-term memories may remember the highest price of government in the mid 1990’s, when every Minnesotan was paying nearly 18 cents for every dollar they earned. By balancing the state’s budget for the long-term, reducing property taxes, and enacting $2 billion worth of budget cuts since 2011, the Minnesota Senate DFL has successfully lowered taxpayers’ costs.

Source: Jeff Van Wychen, Minnesota 2020

(All the percentages above correlate directly to cents per dollar)

And it’s not a one-time lower tax bill – the cost will continue to go down for at least the next four years.