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Letter: Dayton's latest budget proposals are too costly

With six weeks left in the legislative session, Gov. Mark Dayton and legislative leadership have begun releasing updated budget proposals and spending targets. I'm troubled by the proposals' increased spending.

Over the past two years, we greatly improved Minnesota's financial standing by reforming government, prioritizing spending and living within our means. Unfortunately, it appears neither Gov. Dayton nor the House majority want to continue down this economic path.

In all, Dayton's proposed $38 billion budget raises $1.83 billion in taxes -- three times greater than what is needed to eliminate Minnesota's projected $627 million deficit. A total of $1.1 billion of that represents a tax increase on small business owners. It also increases spending by nearly $3 billion when compared to Minnesota's current budget and fails to pay back delayed funding from our schools.

The Minnesota House proposal went above and beyond Gov. Dayton's spending totals. As part of their budget setting process, the majority plans to spend more than $39 billion on state government programs -- nearly $4 billion more than what's being spent in our current budget. This includes a $2.4 billion increase in taxes as well as a "temporary" tax increase on people making more than $500,000 per year to pay back the school shift, but not all of the tax increases have been identified.

While I'm pleased the majority party has now given us a budget framework, I'm very concerned that their proposals will hurt our job providers and hard working Minnesotans. Right now, it's unknown which taxes they are going to raise in order to meet these increased spending targets. In the coming days we'll get a clearer picture of what these proposals are, and I look forward to a focused debate about the budget for the remainder of session.