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Build your own sales tax policy for Dayton’s new budget

Can you raise enough revenue to plug the budget gap while leaving your favorite services untaxed?

One of the largest and most controversial changes proposed in Gov. Mark Dayton’s 2014–15 budget is a broad expansion of the state sales tax — collecting numerous new taxes on goods and services. The consolation for these new taxes? The governor proposes dropping the state sales tax rate from the current 6.875 percent to 5.5 percent (the national median is 5.85 percent). The net effect of these two changes would earn over $2 billion in new revenue during the 2014–15 biennium, assuming the sales tax changes go into effect January 1, 2014.

In the coming months at the Legislature, much debate will focus on just what goods and services should be taxed and how those changes will affect businesses and individuals in Minnesota. Below, you have the opportunity to design your own sales tax policy. Can you raise enough revenue to plug the budget gap while leaving your favorite services untaxed?

Click on the categories listed to exempt them from or include them in the sales tax revenue. Use the slider on top to adjust the overall tax rate. The totals at the bottom of the screen will change as you create your custom tax plan. (Note: Since sales tax changes will go into effect after January 1, 2014 — six months into the 2014–15 biennium — the amounts below reflect expected tax receipts over 18 months.)

Total dollar amounts are rounded to nearest thousands. Data compiled from the Minnesota Department of Revenue. Code, techniques, and data on Github.