Dayton Draws Minn. Tax Debate into Sharper Focus
Gov. Mark Dayton on Thursday set up the clear-cut tax debate his aides say he's always craved, demanding that Minnesota's best-off residents pay higher income taxes to boost spending on education and other services.
Dayton released an updated budget plan that leans heavily on a new income tax rate levied on the top 2 percent of annual earners, extracting $1.1 billion in the next two years from an estimated 54,000 filers. The money would help erase a $627 million budget shortfall, bolster preschool through college education and stock loan and grant funds for business expansions.
In all, the Democratic governor is seeking more than $1.8 billion in previously proposed new taxes, including a higher cigarette tax and extra burdens on Minnesota companies that can now shield profits they make overseas.
"Just saying no to tax increases is not a budget plan and is not responsible," Dayton said.
The top-tier income tax was a centerpiece of Dayton's 2010 run for governor, but he wound up backing away from it to end a budget stalemate with Republicans in 2011. Now with Democrats in charge of the Legislature, Dayton stands to get his wish.
Click here to learn more about Governor Dayton's budget.
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