Taxes, Education Focal Point in MN House Budget Proposal

By KBJR News 1

Taxes, Education Focal Point in MN House Budget Proposal

March 19, 2013 Updated Mar 19, 2013 at 5:51 PM CDT

St. Paul, MN (NNCNOW.com) - The Minnesota DFL controlled-House unveiled its budget framework Tuesday with a focus on education and jobs.

Lawmakers vow to invest in the state's future.

Republican leaders say it'll only make a more expensive Government.

Rep. Paul Thissen (DFL-Majority Leader) says the House wants to close the gap in the current budget cycle.

He says they'll do it with a combination of new revenues and spending cuts, primarily in human services.

Some of the points delivered by the House include paying back Minnesota schools. The state currently owes $800 million in school payment shifts.

The proposal would also provide investments in K-12 education.

The bill, unlike the Governor's proposal, would keep property tax relief for the middle class.

The House DFL says homeowners have seen an 86 percent increase in property taxes over the past decade.

The House also wants the state's top earners, making $500,000 a year or more, to pay a temporary income tax surcharge to eliminate a funding delay to state schools.

That's in addition to taxing those making $150,000 or more, like in the Governor's budget.

Rep. Kurt Daudt (R-Minority Leader) says the biggest difference is that the DFL'ers want higher taxes while the GOP wants more jobs.

"This is not intended as a means of pitting one group against another," said Rep. Thissen. "But we also know the wealthiest Minnesotans have been by far the biggest beneficiaries of the economic growth of the last decade, while middle class families and working poor have suffered and stagnated."

"It was a bad idea then and it's a bad idea now," said Rep. Daudt. "It will make Minnesota less competitive and it will mean less job opportunities for hard working Minnesotans.

Senate Democrats will releases their proposal on Wednesday.

Governor Mark Dayton also begins a state wide tour Wednesday touting his revised budget plan.

The Governor's first stop will be in Duluth.

Kevin Jacobsen
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