Chamber Members Rally Against Top Tier Tax Increase

By KBJR News 1

April 9, 2013 Updated Apr 9, 2013 at 6:06 PM CDT

Hermantown, MN (NNCNOW.com)-- Some area employers and employees aren't impressed with the layout of Governor Mark Dayton's budget proposal.

That was the topic of discussion at the Hermantown Chamber of Commerce, with the Vice President of the Minnesota Chamber taking the lead.

"An increase in the income tax rate eliminates extra money they [businesses] have to invest in their equipment, invest in their employees, invest in growing their company," said Jennifer Byers, Vice President of the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce.

Governor Dayton's proposed new income tax tier for the wealthiest 2% of Minnesotans is prompting concern from some in the private sector.

"There is pent up demand for revenue in the legislature," said Byers. "We are very concerned about the level the legislature is spending and the amount of tax increases."

Dayton's new tax bracket is predicted to bring in more than one-billion dollars in new revenue, but those opposing the tax hikes say spending cuts need to be the legislative priority.

"Spending is growing, and it shouldn't be," said Natalie Peterson of Hermantown. "Most of us in our homes and businesses--spending is not increasing. They're trying to manage and cut back and I think it's important the starting point is there."

Those representing the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce are providing some specifics to an alternative plan.

"We'd like to see some spending cuts first, and they are not even part of the equation right now," said Byers. "We could reform the way we do pensions, we could reform the way we do healthcare to public employees. A part of the governor's plan is adding more state employees-we don't think we need to grow government that large."

According to the website for Governor Dayton's budget, 54,000 people in Minnesota will pay more in taxes, if his proposed budget becomes law.

Written for the web by Zach Vavricka