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House GOP Envisions Big Tax Cuts, Some Government Cuts

March 20, 2017 07:02 PM

How much tax relief would you like to see the Minnesota Legislature approve?  House Republicans are proposing $1.35 billion while their Senate counterparts are recommending $900 million.  Governor Mark Dayton’s proposal calls for $300 million.  Senate Republicans propose $900 million in tax relief. Let these lawmakers know your thoughts!

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Minnesota House Republicans are cueing up cuts to some health care programs and state government agencies while drumming up about $1.35 billion in tax relief.

House legislative leaders offered up few details on their budgetary plans Monday while outlining a broad framework of a proposed two-year budget.

They're envisioning a roughly $45 billion budget.

Republican House Speaker Kurt Daudt called the tax cut plan "meaningful, long overdue tax relief for Minnesota families. We know how hard they work to generate our state's significant budget surplus."

The state has a $1.65 billion dollar budget surplus.

RELATED: Dayton Devotes Budget Surplus to Preschool, Savings

The House GOP plan aligns closely with fellow Republicans who control the Senate, but is sure to clash with Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton. Dayton wants more funding, such as for a $175 million expansion to a new preschool program.

Daudt says they're unlikely to make broad tax reductions like to the state's income tax as proposed by Senate Republicans. He suggested phasing out Social Security income taxes and reducing agricultural property taxes.

Democrats call the tax cut proposals irresponsible.

"I'm not saying there should be no tax cuts, but boy oh boy, I think what's being proposed here is absolutely irresponsible given where we are right now as a state," Rep. Tina Liebling, DFL-Rochester, said at a House Ways and Means Committee meeting.

Longtime state Rep. Lyndon Carlson, DFL-Crystal, said the last major tax cuts were destabilizing.

"We had significant tax cuts in 1998, 1999...I forget the exact tax year there, but it put us on a roller coaster for the next ten years," Carlson told fellow members of the House Ways and Means Committee.

RELATED: Debate over Scope of Tax Cuts Heats Up at Minnesota Capitol

Lawmakers have until late May to pass a budget.

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AP

(Copyright 2017 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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