GOP lawmakers use Tax Day to remind voters of DFL tax increases

GOP lawmakers use Tax Day to remind voters of DFL tax increases

GOP lawmakers use Tax Day to remind voters of DFL tax increases

The Minnesota Legislature has a $3.7 billion budget surplus to work with for the next two-year budget cycle, but a possible deficit looms the two years after that. So far the Democratic majorities in the House and Senate are using caution on passing any new taxes in 2024, while Republicans used tax deadline day to resume their drumbeat of criticism of billions in tax increases passed last year.

“Remember, the Democrat majority passed nearly $10 billion in tax increases last year,” Senate Minority Leader Mark Johnson, R-East Grand Forks, said at a news conference Monday. “So far about $3 billion of these tax increases and fees have gone into effect.”

He points out the other $7 billion will be phased in through 2026, including the biggest increase to pay for a paid family and medical leave program that starts in 2026.

There have also been increases in the gas tax, motor vehicle registration fees, metro area sales taxes and, coming in July, a new delivery tax.

Democrats respond by pointing out all the services and tax credits they’ve been able to provide for low- and middle-income families.

RELATED: New child tax credit available for 300,000 families this year

“From reducing child poverty to helping family budgets, we have prioritized the needs of Minnesotans in all of our work, and we will continue to build on that as we move forward,” DFL Senate Majority Leader Erin Murphy said in a written statement. 

DFL House Speaker Melissa Hortman also responded with a statement defending the tax increases:

“DFLers made our state’s tax system more fair for workers and families while investing in the areas Minnesotans have told us they care about most: high-quality public education, affordable health care, and economic security — including paid family leave, universal school meals, and capping co-pays on prescription drugs for certain chronic diseases. Our tax law included the largest tax cut in state history through rebates, a nation-leading child tax credit, property tax cuts, a social security tax cut, and more. DFLers are working to undo decades of disinvestment driven by Republicans, grow the middle class, and ensure Minnesotans can build a better life.”

Republicans say DFL tax increases are actually just necessary to quench their appetite for spending increases.

“For far too long Democrats in St. Paul have viewed the paycheck and the bank accounts of Minnesotans as their own personal piggy bank to raid whenever they need more to fund their out-of-control spending,” said House Minority Leader Lisa Demuth.

The DFL majority will release its 2024 tax bill on Tuesday.