$1.8B in Taxes Fuel Governor's Revised Budget Proposal

By KBJR News 1

March 14, 2013 Updated Mar 14, 2013 at 6:01 PM CDT

St. Paul, MN (NNCNOW.com) - Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton released his revised budget proposal on Thursday featuring a number of tax increases to help close a $627 million dollar budget gap.

The new plan also includes increased spending for education and job creation.

Governor Mark Dayton started his speech with a moment of reflection in the wake of a positive February budget forecast.

"The broad tax reform which I had proposed lacks both public and legislative support to be enacted," the Governor said during a press briefing.

Those reforms included a business to business tax and a sales tax on clothing, which the Governor has now cut.

He credits his change of heart to a positive February economic forecast.

"I believe this proposal is the responsible, balanced budget the People of MN deserve," the Governor said. "There are no shifts, borrowing or other gimmicks to balance."

The overall budget calls for $1.8 billion in new taxes to pay for increased government spending.

Tax hikes would be felt by Minnesota's wealthiest, whom the Governor says pay 22% less in taxes than the middle class.

Smokers would also cough up more.

Part-time residents, or snowbirds, won't flee from an increase either.

"You pay according to your income, wealth, if you're going to be here for five months and 29 days using all the services that all the rest of us pay taxes to support, then you ought to pay percentage for doing so."

GOP leaders admit they're pleased the Governor has reeled back on some of the tax proposals. Now they say the Governor needs to cut spending.

"We're committed to finding a government that works better, not one that's more expensive," said Rep. Kurt Daudt, (R-House Minority Leader).

Proposed spending includes $880 million for education, a $120 million increase in Local Government Aid and $86.5 million to create jobs.

"It's kind of Government gone wild down here, we're getting close to spring break. Taxapalooza," said Sen. David Hann, (R-Senate Minority Leader). We are willing to be here to help and offer solutions that we think do work."

"If the people don't want to raise any additional revenues, they need to cut $627 million out of the budget, it's their responsibility to tell us where," the Governor said.

The Governor added he'll introduce a $750 million bonding bill in the coming weeks.

Kevin Jacobsen
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