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Dayton whittles down tax increase proposal

Charley Shaw//May 16, 2011

Dayton whittles down tax increase proposal

Charley Shaw//May 16, 2011

Mark Dayton

In an overture to Republicans aimed at reaching a budget accord by the May 23 adjournment deadline, Gov. Mark Dayton has slimmed down the tax increases in his budget proposal.

Dayton said he would reduce his tax increase proposal to $1.8 billion that would solve a portion of the $5 billion budget deficit that’s projected for 2012-2013. In February, Dayton had proposed a $3.35 billion hike in the state’s highest earners. Republicans have crafted budget bills that don’t raise taxes.

“They’re responsible for their half of the compromise and I’m responsible for my half. I’ve offered to fulfill my half for a responsible, balanced approach,” Dayton told reporters Monday at the state Capitol news conference.

Dayton said, however, he wouldn’t move any farther downward on his tax proposal.

“I won’t go beyond this,” Dayton said.

Republican leaders of the House and Senate meanwhile said they won’t raise taxes to plug the deficit.

Both Dayton, a DFLer in his first term, and Republicans in the Legislature have agreed to book $1.4 billion in savings by continuing the school-aid shift that was passed last year. In addition to $1.8 billion in new revenue, Dayton is calling for $1.8 billion in cuts.

During a news conference Dayton said the areas that get cut will depend on how the negotiations play out. But he warned that cuts in the Republicans’ budget bills would result in tuition and property tax increases among other things.

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