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Star Tribune publishes anti-tax letter written by TCF Bank CEO and doesn't identify him

Star Tribune publishes anti-tax letter written by TCF Bank CEO and doesn't identify him

:::: UPDATE :::: Strib editor Scott Gillespie admits decision to not ID TCF Bank CEO was "borderline"

Today's Star Tribune "Readers Write" page features an anti-tax letter entitled "All are burdened when upper incomes are" penned by a Wayzata resident named William A. Cooper.

But unless there are two William A. Coopers in Wayzata, it appears the writer isn't just some Joe Blow off the street. That's because William A. Cooper is the CEO of Wayzata-based TCF Bank.

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The Strib doesn't identify Cooper's affiliation with a bank whose executives certainly stand to gain a lot if lawmakers take his "don't tax the rich or we'll move to Arizona" argument to heart.

Star Tribune Editorial Page Editor Scott Gillespie didn't immediately return an email and voicemail seeking comment, but we'll update if we hear back. (See update at bottom.)

Here's the entire text of Cooper's letter:

STATE TAXES

All are burdened when upper incomes are

The April 16 article spelling out the 26 criteria that Minnesota uses to prove residency for tax purposes is important not only for individuals who live outside of the state but still are taxed here, but also for Minnesotans who live and work here ("Avoiding state tax net is no easy task").

The criteria include which church you belong to, where your lawyer or accountant resides, where your bank accounts are held, where you buy your insurance, where you buy your vehicle, where your clubs or associations are located, which real estate broker you use, where your doctor is located and so on.

So why should the average Minnesotan care? Because when upper-income people move -- and they will -- all of these attributes will cost jobs and income to working Minnesotans. If you work in a bank, an insurance agency, a car dealership, a lawyer's office, an accountant's office, a country club, a church, a real estate broker's office, a doctor's office or a hospital, and so on, all of the spending and associated income will move to Florida or other low-tax states.

Upper-income people spend a lot because they earn a lot. All this spending and the income associated will move.

It is interesting to note that the one attribute Minnesota government does not use to prove residency is political contributions.

William A. Cooper, Wayzata

And here's how it appears in print:

:::: UPDATE ::::

AM 950 host Matt McNeil alerted us to this Twitter exchange he had earlier today in which Gillespie confirms that the Cooper who wrote the letter is indeed the same one who is CEO of TCF Bank:

-- Follow Aaron Rupar on Twitter at @atrupar. Got a tip? Drop him a line at arupar@citypages.com.


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