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In 1933, Farmer-Labor Gov. Floyd B. Olson made Minnesota a tax outlier. He pushed through a Depression-shocked Legislature the state’s first income tax, one of the few in the country. It was based on ability to pay and dedicated to education, which was struggling just then.
Minnesotans are more mobile today than in 1933. Many of them are keen to sock away savings for retirement. It’s harder for this state to be a tax outlier and not see an exodus of customers, capital, residents or all three.
But Minnesotans who are looking to dodge this year’s new taxes should know that some things haven’t changed in 80 years. Today’s new taxes will go primarily to education, which has been struggling. And bad things still happen to good people.
Lori Sturdevant is a Star Tribune editorial writer and columnist.
The Opinion section is produced by the Editorial Department to foster discussion about key issues. The Editorial Board represents the institutional voice of the Star Tribune and operates independently of the newsroom.