Dayton, GOP Lawmakers Joust Over Tax Bills

April 19, 2018 07:05 PM

While Republican lawmakers continue to criticize Gov. Mark Dayton's tax proposals, the governor is quick to respond by asking when the legislature will come up with its own.

"I keep saying where's their tax bill," Dayton told reporters at a State Capitol news conference.


"If they'd just put out their tax bill, we could compare theirs to mine and see who's priorities are reflected in what."

RELATED: Lawmakers to Discuss Bonding Bill, Tax Code as Session Resumes

The stakes are high. The legislature and governor need to agree on a plan to make Minnesota's tax code conform to the new federal tax law passed by Congress and signed by President Trump.

Otherwise, thousands of Minnesotans will pay higher taxes totaling hundreds of millions of dollars.

Dayton said his tax proposal would lower taxes for "two million Minnesotans and their families" and preserve tax deductions for state taxes that are being eliminated for federal taxes.

However, Republicans said the governor does that by repealing tax cuts on businesses and some tobacco products that were passed last year. He also proposes keeping in place a 2 percent health care "provider tax" that is supposed to blink off at the end of 2019.

"We all knew the Democratic Party was being taken over by the resistance, we just didn't know it was being taken over by a resistance to mathematics and facts,"  Rep. Pat Garofalo, R-Farmington, said.

Garofalo said House and Senate tax committees are working on a plan that will lower taxes for most Minnesotans and conform state tax law to federal law where possible.

Details are expected next week.

RELATED: Dayton's Budget Looks to Undo GOP-Backed Tax Breaks

The governor said the House and Senate need to agree on a tax bill soon.

"If they can't even negotiate competently among themselves that doesn't bode well that we're going to have enough time to thrash out our difference and get something before me that I can sign," Dayton said.

If they do nothing, many taxes will go up and filling out tax returns could be very complicated for most Minnesotans.

The legislature must adjourn by May 21.



Tom Hauser

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