Letter: Dayton's budget approach far from balancedThis week, Gov. Dayton shared his budget priorities with lawmakers for the next two years. Here are some of the more notable provisions:
By: District 22A Rep. Joe Schomacker, R-Luverne, Worthington Daily Globe
This week, Gov. Dayton shared his budget priorities with lawmakers for the next two years. Here are some of the more notable provisions:
* Would spend $37.8 billion, a little more than $1 billion more than we’re spending these two years;
* Fills the deficit and pays for additional spending through $3.7 billion in new taxes;
* Raises $1.1 billion by increasing income taxes on individuals making more than $150,000; couples $250,000;
* Lowers, but expands the sales tax rate from 6.875 percent to 5.5 percent and would now include services such as legal and accounting fees, haircuts, purchases made over the internet, medication and clothing over $100. This is expected to bring in $2 billion in new funds;
* Increases the cigarette tax by 94 cents a pack;
* Lowers corporate tax rates from 9.8 percent to 8.4 percent and closes the foreign operating corporation language;
* Continues the delay on paying funds to schools for an additional four years
* Offers an additional $80 million for Local Government Aid, and $40 million for County Program Aid; and
* Provides an up to $500 property tax rebate for all property owners (annual cost of $700 million).
Last week, I discussed the strong economic growth that our state has experienced, and I’d like to see that continued. I also talked about what impact a sales tax would have on the little competitive advantage we have on taxes against South Dakota and Iowa.
I do commend the governor for not going after a gas tax increase, which was recommended by his Transportation Task Force, but as far as offering a balanced approach to the budget, the Governor comes up short — with $1 of reduction for every $16 in new taxes.
This is just the opening mark of the discussion on the budget, however, and the media is already reporting that the legislature’s budget will look much different. As session progresses, I will be sure to keep you updated on the budget that is being crafted in the Minnesota House.