Radinovich: “Darn Right” He Voted For $2 Billion Tax Hike

Screenshot from MPR Debate

Democrat Joe Radinovich is standing by his vote in favor of a $2.1 billion tax increase while he was a state legislator.

The topic of taxes came up during a Minnesota Public Radio debate last week between Democrat Joe Radinovich and Republican Pete Stauber, highlighting key differences between the two candidates running to represent Minnesota’s Eighth Congressional District.

When called out on his history of supporting tax hikes, Radinovich said he is “guilty as charged.” In 2013, Minnesota DFL legislators pushed through a $2.1 billion tax bill which raised top income tax rates and more than doubled the tax on cigarettes. Radinovich voted in favor of the bill.

“Darn right, I voted for that,” Radinovich said of the tax hike.

Radinovich praised the bill as a tax on the wealthy, saying it impacted those who could “afford the most to pay a little more.” 

Also during the debate, Radinovich reaffirmed his disapproval for the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act passed by Congress last year, saying he would want to repeal the legislation if elected.

“I support middle class tax cuts–these are not middle class tax cuts,” Radinovich said, claiming the wealthy disproportionately benefited from the tax cuts.

According to the Heritage Foundation, Minnesotans will save over $1,200 in taxes this year and over the next decade the average take-home pay will increase over $22,000.

In contrast, Stauber praised the Tax Cuts And Jobs Act for reinvigorating the economy and offering the middle class significant savings.

“The bottom line is the Tax Cuts And Jobs Act has re-incentivized and reinvigorated the economy,” Stauber said.

A key outcome of the Tax Cuts And Jobs Act was lowering federal corporate income tax rate from 35 percent to 21 percent. Stauber cited multiple small businesses in the Eighth District that benefited from the significant tax cut, saying it is “real economic savings they can invest in their employees.”

Watch the full debate below:

Christine Bauman
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