In his 2013 budget proposal, Governor Mark Dayton proposed a “snow bird tax” as a matter of fairness:
“It’s one of the unfairnesses that somebody can spend six months and one day out of the state and pay no state personal income taxes and come back here and take advantage of all the state has to offer for five months and 29 days. So, yes, there’s a snowbird tax.”
As Fox News dutifully reported, Florida GOP Congressman Trey Radel wrote a snarky rebuttal letter a few weeks back to Governor Dayton:
“Dear Governor Mark Dayton,” Rep. Trey Radel wrote Friday (February 1, 2013). “I’m writing today to thank you. As a Floridian, I am overjoyed to hear about your plan to raise taxes on Minnesotans, most especially the so-called ‘snowbirds.’ Your proposal gives us a chance to shine here in the Sunshine State.”
Radel, argues in the letter, which appear (sic) written with pointed sarcasm to skewer higher taxes, that southwest Florida would welcome more entrepreneurs and philanthropists investing in the region. And he cited such incentives as no income taxes, investment incentives for big and small businesses and “great” public, charter and private schools.
“It’s my sincere hope your plan has just driven many Minnesotans to become year-round residents of our great state,” he wrote. “I thank you for your policy. It draws the contrast of what is happening not only in United States today, but the world.”
It may shock you to learn that our little Pensacola pen pal is a Tea Party favorite who has called for President Obama’s impeachment over the President’s gun control popular proposal (only 29% oppose).
Political extremist or not, my mamma taught me that it is rude to not respond to your mail, so:
Dear Congressman Radel:
Good luck trying to draw Minnesotans to Florida year round. After all, loyal Minnesotans know that:
- Minnesota is ranked the 2nd best state to live in. Florida is 37th.
- Minnesota is 1st in high school graduation rates. Florida is 34th.
- Minnesota is ranked the 4th healthiest state. Florida is 44th.
- Minnesota is ranked 19th in total pollution. Florida is 45th.
- Minnesotans average commute time is 17th lowest. Florida is 40th.
- Minnesota is ranked the 6th most educated state. Florida is 36th.
- Minnesota has the 3rd lowest poverty rate. Florida is 27th.
- Minnesota is ranked the 2nd best place to live in 2032. Florida is ranked 46th.
Yes, we Minnesotans are pale, cold and taxed (MN is 7th highest, FL is 27th). But Minnesota snowbirds care deeply about their health, neighbors, environment, communities, infrastructure, quality of life and grandkids’ futures. And every winter when they visit Florida, they are reminded that, well, you get what you pay for.
In other words, while migrating Minnesotans may be called snow birds, they’re not easily snowed. Thanks for the invitation, though!
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