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Higher Taxes for Education?

On Saturday, the State Senate passed a bill that would raise income taxes for the States wealthiest people. The proposed increase would raise the income tax from 7.85% to 9.7%. The increase in state income would be nearly $1 billion and has been earmarked for education spending. Pioneer Press reporter Rachel E. Stassen-Berger indicates that Governor Pawlenty will Veto the bill. Other than these few details the article had little to say. I would have liked to see more dialogue concerning such an important topic

The article in the Star Tribune by Patricia Lopez and Norman Draper was much more detailed and contained dialogue from both sides of the debate. The position of the dissenting voters is that raising taxes on the states most successful citizens would encourage the wealthy to leave Minnesota and discourage wealthy people from moving to Minnesota. If the bill is passed Minnesota will have the highest income tax rate in the United States. "The price tag seemed a little steep for my district," said Sen. Sandy Rummel, DFL-White Bear Lake. "I want to be more moderate. I think we might have to increase income taxes, but not that much."

Proponents argue that not only can the wealthy afford to pay higher taxes but that they have received unfair tax breaks in the past. This is what the author wrote, "That would bring the tax burden for the state's wealthiest 93,000 tax filers more into line with middle class earners, Senate DFLers said. A recent state Revenue Department report showed that top earners now pay about 9 percent of their income in taxes while middle-range filers tend to pay closer to 12 percent."
This seems greatly unfair to me. The people who make the most money should also be the people who pay the most money in taxes. If the middle-class parents who must save for years and take out loans to pay for their children's college tuition pay 12% of their income in taxes the wealthy who can easily pay for college tuition out of pocket should pay at least that same percentage.