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Over 100 organizations ask state leaders to make bold investments and raise revenues

Meghan Marriott
May 07, 2021

As the end of the 2021 Legislative Session inches closer, over 100 organizations from around Minnesota have called on state policymakers to make bold budget tax and budget decisions in order to meet the challenges of our times.

With the devastation that a global pandemic has brought to our door, the impacts from an incredibly unequal economic downturn that followed, and a long-overdue reckoning with Minnesota’s stark racial disparities — going about “business as usual” is unacceptable.

Our Minnesota neighbors need resources that will support their recovery through these compounded crises, as well as investments so that everyone can thrive into the future.

The good news? Our state is one of abundant resources. We have what we need to care for each other, if we choose to do so. That’s why, the organizations listed below — of all sizes and missions — have joined Together We Rise Minnesota in signing a letter calling for what is needed for our state: In order to build a strong, equitable recovery, state policymakers must make bold, structural investments and raise progressive revenues by asking those with the most resources to contribute a bit more.

Thank you to the organizations that have signed the letter below, advocating for a better way forward through policy choices that pursue a state where all can thrive, regardless of who they are or what zip code they call home.

See the full letter text and list of signatories below.

Want to get involved?

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May 6, 2021

 

Dear Honorable Governor Tim Walz and Members of the Minnesota Legislature:

As you work toward final tax and budget decisions in the 2021 Legislative Session, we call on you to rise to meet the challenges of our times: the ongoing impact of a public health emergency unlike any in our lifetimes, the continued disruption from a deep and unequal economic downturn, and a long-overdue reckoning with Minnesota’s stark racial disparities.

Through the Together We Rise Minnesota campaign, Minnesotans have united behind the following principles:

  • Minnesota is a state of abundance, and should raise revenues in order to fully respond to the pandemic and economic downturn so that Minnesotans can be healthy, safe, and economically secure; to protect community and public services that Minnesotans count on; and build a more equitable recovery; and
  • Policymakers should prioritize revenue-raising options that focus on those with the most resources, and that make the tax system more fair and equitable.

We can’t go back to a status quo budget that leaves too many of our neighbors behind and keeps Minnesota’s racial disparities – some of the worst in the nation – in place.

Federal aid and state resources should be used to take bold action to address the pandemic and economic downturn, focusing on those who were hit the hardest, and to build a stronger, more equitable recovery. Minnesota should make strong, structural investments in affordable housing, quality education for every child, child care, broadband and economic development, thriving communities, and other building blocks of shared prosperity. Dismantling barriers limiting opportunities for Minnesotans of color must be an intentional focus.

Raising taxes on those with the most resources would help build the more equitable recovery we all envision for our state. By enacting a new top income tax bracket on the highest-income Minnesotans and other tax policies focused on those Minnesotans and corporations that have prospered the most, you would raise the resources to maintain investments in a Minnesota where everyone can thrive after the influx of federal money has ended. In contrast, passing large, permanent tax cuts would undermine our future and make it harder to invest in an equitable economy that works for all of us.

Tax decisions should make our tax system more equitable and just, and advance economic security for low- and moderate-income Minnesotans and Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) Minnesotans.

This is a direction that a majority of Minnesotans support. In a survey commissioned by the Minnesota Budget Project conducted earlier this year, Data for Progress found that:

  • 67 percent of Minnesotans supported raising income taxes on high-income households;
  • 67 percent of Minnesotans supported raising taxes on profitable corporations; and
  • 61 percent supported the state spending more money to eliminate racial inequities and provide equal opportunity to all Minnesotans.

Tax and budget choices should respond to the reality of our current budget and economic landscape. This recession may be the most unequal in modern history. It is doing the most harm to those with the least resources to get through it, including lower-income and BIPOC Minnesotans. At the same time, many of those with the greatest resources have seen their incomes and wealth grow.

In addition, the February Forecast showed the state’s budget situation has improved, but also revenues were still below what was projected in February 2020. And we know the forecast measures against a baseline budget that does not include what it takes for all Minnesotans to thrive. New funding to the state from the federal American Rescue Plan create an unprecedented opportunity, but these resources are temporary and cannot be a substitute for sustainable new revenues.

When faced with challenges, Minnesotans pull together to help one another get through. We call on you to meet this moment and build a stronger, more equitable recovery for us all.

Sincerely,

100% Campaign

AFSCME Council 65

Alliance Française Mpls/St Paul

Amherst H. Wilder Foundation

Arc Northland

Avenues for Youth

Big Brothers Big Sisters Twin Cities

Boys & Girls Clubs of the Northland

Cannon River Watershed Partnership (CRWP)

CAPI USA

Caponi Art park

Center for Economic Inclusion

Center for Victims of Torture

Change Inc.

Chicago Avenue Fire Arts Center

Children's Defense Fund - Minnesota

Choral Arts Ensemble

Coco Canary Consulting, LLC

Community Stabilization project

Diversity Council

Education Minnesota

Faith in Minnesota

Frank Theatre

Friends School of Minnesota

Growth & Justice

Guild

Headway Emotional Health Services

HECUA

HOME Line

Hopewell Music Cooperative North

Horn of Africa community of USA

Hunger Solutions Minnesota

Immigrant Law Center of Minnesota

Indivisible MN03

ISAIAH

Jewish Family and Children's Service of Minneapolis

Land Stewardship Project

Laura Baker Services Association

League of Women Voters of Minnesota

Main Street Alliance of Minnesota

Mary's Pence

Metropolitan Consortium of Community Developers

MICAH- Metropolitan Interfaith Council on Affordable Housing

Midwest Food Connection

Minnesota AFL-CIO

Minnesota Brain Injury Alliance

Minnesota Budget Project

Minnesota Center for Book Arts

Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy

Minnesota Coalition For The Homeless

Minnesota Council of Nonprofits

Minnesota Council on Foundations

Minnesota Environmental Partnership

Minnesota First Community Solutions

Minnesota Health Fairs, Inc.

Minnesota Housing Partnership

Minnesota Nurses Association

Minnesota Social Service Association

Minnesota State Retiree Council, AFL-CIO

Money for Two Workshops, LLC

MORE

Mount Olivet Rolling Acres, Inc.

Move Minnesota

MSS

NAMI Minnesota

Neighbors Inc

Northeast area labor council

NorthPoint Health & Wellness Center, Inc.

Open Access Connections

Open Your Heart to the Hungry and Homeless

Osprey Wilds Environmental Learning Center

People for PSEO

People Serving People

Pillsbury United Communities

Planned Parenthood Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota Action Fund

Plymouth Area Indivisible

Portico Healthnet

Prairie Lakes Regional Arts Council, Inc., Waseca

PRISM

Proof Alliance

Reach for Resources, Inc.

Rochester Art Center

Rochester Public Library Foundation

SEIU Healthcare Minnesota

SEIU Local 284

SEIU MN State Council

South Sudanese community of Minnesota

Southeast Minnesota Area Labor Council, AFL-CIO

Southside Family Nurturing Center

Stillpoint Engage

TakeAction Minnesota

Teamsters Service Bureau | Minnesota Job Partners

The Aliveness Project

The BrandLab

The Family Partnership

The Heart and Mind Connection

The Lift Garage

The Wildwood Theatre

This Is Medicaid coalition

Tubman

UNITE HERE

United Way of Central Minnesota

Voices For Racial Justice

Walk-In Counseling Center

West Region Minnesota AFL-CIO

Will Work for Recovery

Women Against Military Madness

WoMN ACT

Working America

World Savvy

Young Dance

YWCA Minneapolis

Zabriskie Consulting