Battle lines will be even more sharply drawn when Governor Mark Dayton rolls out his revised state budget proposal today and Senate Republicans release the broad outline of *their* state budget plan. The Senate G-O-P opened this latest exchange yesterday, proposing a hefty 900 million dollars in tax cuts, including permanent income tax reductions, phasing out state tax on Social Security, lowering business property taxes and a property tax credit for ag land. Lino Lakes Senator Roger Chamberlain says the state’s economy is flat and serious challenges are ahead. Chamberlain contends, “We have to do something different. It starts with massive tax relief and reform for every Minnesotan, and that is how we’re gonna get out of this.”
Governor Dayton warns excessive tax cuts, coupled with uncertainty in the economic forecast, could put the state budget back into deficit like happened in the last decade. Dayton says, “We worked so hard in the last six years to re-establish fiscal integrity and stability in Minnesota government” and vows not to leave his successor with the problem he encountered.
Governor Dayton and Republicans alike seem to support property tax relief for agricultural land, which they say is shouldering more than its share of the cost for schools in Greater Minnesota. Breckenridge farmer Jerry Nordick agrees. “I have got young farmers out there that had to make a decision two years ago when their tax bill came, whether they should carry health insurance or whether they should pay the taxes to keep the farm,” Nordick says. “That’s how serious this is.”
Comments from Senate Tax Committee Chairman Roger Chamberlain:
Comments from Governor Mark Dayton: