Did T-Paw Quietly Impose Back-Door Tax Hike On Thousands Of Constituents?

Via PlumLine

This broke quietly in a Minnesota paper, but it could still make a bit of trouble for Tim Pawlenty in advance of the 2012 GOP primary.

Over the weekend the Star Tribune reported that Pawlenty quietly canceled a 40-year-old tax-reciprocity program with Wisconsin, under which residents of both states who work in the other state file a single tax return.

By nixing the plan, residents of both states will now have to file two returns — one for each state. And for various arcane reasons, Pawlenty’s nixing of the program would generate $131 million to close the Minnesota state government’s multi-billion-dollar budget gap.

But the rub is in the Star Tribune’s conclusion: Roughly 8,000 Minnesotan residents will have to pay $300 more in taxes per year.

Pawlenty has repeatedly pledged not to raise taxes, turning him into an anti-tax hero of sorts. But now he’s nixed a 40-year-old deal between the two states, effectively hitting some of his constituents with a tax hike in order to close the budget gap he’d pledged not to close with higher taxes.

Pawlenty appears to be working overtime to position himself as viable to the right-wing base in advance of the 2012 primary. And in that race, even a back-door tax hike will be used as ammo against him. You watch…

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