Area Legislators Mixed on Dayton Budget Proposal

Gov. Mark Dayton's $38 billion proposal would expand sales taxes on certain items and services and boost education funding.

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Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton's $38 billion budget plan drew a mixed response from Dakota County legislators this week, with Republicans decrying proposed tax and spending increases, while Democrats lauded Dayton's focus on school funding.

Released Tuesday, the two-year budget plan raises roughly $2.1 billion in revenue by implementing sales taxes on haircuts, car repairs and high-end clothing sales, among other specific products and services. An income tax hike for married filers making more than $250,000 of taxable income annually and single filers earning more than $150,000 is also included in the proposal, as is a tax hike on cigarettes.

But corporate taxes would drop 14 percent under the proposal, and all homeowners would get a $500 rebate on their property taxes starting in 2014, according to Dayton's plan. The overall sales tax rate would also fall from 6.875 percent to 5.5 percent.

It was Dayton's plans for school funding that earned the praise of Senate District 51 Sen. Jim Carlson (DFL), who represents portions of Eagan and Burnsville.

Under Dayton's proposal, the state would funnel $300 million during the next biennium to K-12 schools and $240 million to higher education, plus $92 million for early learning programs and scholarships.

"A solid economy starts with a solid education," Carlson wrote in a news release. "We need to continue to invest in our economic future by ensuring our children attend good schools."

Dayton's proposed education funding increase would result in $52 in new money for every student, Carlson said.

Still, Carlson said, Dayton's proposal was only a "starting point."

The proposal didn't even rise to that level for Republican foes in Dakota County and across the state.

"Governor Dayton has talked about a balanced approach to our state's budget. Instead of working to streamline government and reduce spending in a meaningful way, he is asking middle class families to foot the bill for billions of dollars in new spending," House District 57B Rep. Anna Wills said. "He is proposing a budget that will tax haircuts, car repairs, over-the-counter medicines, and for the first time ever, clothing."

“Our state government doesn’t need more money. Families need to keep their own hard-earned dollars and government needs to do a better job with what it has,” Minnesota Senate Republican Leader and Senate District 48 Sen. David Hann (R) wrote in a news release.  “Growing our economy, not government is the right way to move our state forward.”

Paul January 25, 2013 at 06:47 PM
Come on. Worn-out "Pawlenty" rhetoric is still false, no matter how often repeated. Truth? He got NOWHERE in GOP presidential primaries because he is NOT conservative. He paired with a DFL-controlled Legislature, aided & abetted by enough GOP legislative RINOs to merely "tax & spend" $3.5 Billion more, every biennium. This is "no new taxes”?! Truth: the little conservatism Pawlenty tried, was abjectly shot down by Legislature liberals; he even got sucked into the Global Warming’s lies, taxes, & regulations. Challenge? That's what conservatives do. Minnesotans DID "put up" in 2010, only to have RINO GOP leaders squash it. First, a RINO ran as independent, rather than see a true conservative win the governorship. Then, legislative RINOs muzzled elected conservatives. Result? $4.2 Billion more DFL-style “tax & spend”, NOT conservative policies. Voters aren’t dumb; betrayal of the grass-roots conservatives is a huge factor why GOP lost everything in 2012: “a difference that makes no difference, is no difference.” Jobs? Let’s admit a little historical fact here: jobs went away when Democrat Barney Frank’s artificial housing bubble burst, though MN’s aggressive “tax & spend” was already killing jobs before that, even in a roaring economy. Nothing more to it than that. Look at the numbers. No, Dayton's "budget" is nothing but more taxes and more spending. Typical worn-out DFL rhetoric: offer a cake in one hand while stealing the wallet with the other.
Paul January 25, 2013 at 07:10 PM
Step up and pay for services? Yet in the same comment mention that taxes are at historic lows so stop whining? Ignoring Obama-declared “unpatriotic” budget deficits that are now at least 5x larger than what Obama decried? What absolutely breathtakingly bold smoke & mirrors! What brazen doublespeak! What amazingly duplicitous worn-out rhetoric! On the other hand, conservatives have been fighting the 45% federal budget deficits for years (even when they were "unpatriotic" at only 5% or 20%), getting nowhere against worn-out Democrat bait & switch rhetoric. So in reality it is the conservatives who tell the liberals to stop whining and actually pay the taxes for the services you want so badly. Conservatives also suggest an even better solution: actually hire a private citizen to do the work for much less cost and to a greater ability to have the job done per desires; thus more employment, more tax revenue available, and services are done more efficiently. I’ve been a government employee; the waste is tremendous, even in things like the military that simply cannot be privatized. What has to change? We either cut government spending, or raise taxes, to pay for what liberals already have our government spending. Question is: which one, more taxes or less spending, will preserve the golden goose that runs the economy and makes tax collection possible?
Paul January 25, 2013 at 07:33 PM
As to government schools: they get loads more $$s ever biennium, no matter who's in charge. Why is it that “always-more” is “never enough” for liberals? Perhaps we need to spend more on teaching, and less on "counseling" and "administration", eh? Bold statement. Where’s the proof? Private schools can, and do, educate better than public schools. They have done so for decades. They did, and still do, accomplish this higher quality on a shoestring budget compared to public schools. They survive because parents literally do “put up” by suffering taxes to fund public schools they don’t use, and then still scrape and sacrifice to pay private school tuition too. Many of the parents value it so much that they even volunteer time to help out, in addition to tuition and transportation for their kids at that private school. Success invites success. Private schools work, even despite periodic government intrusion and regulation, and regardless if situated and populated by kids in inner cities or outer suburbs. And all our rich liberal politicians know this, and send their own kids to private schools.
Paul January 25, 2013 at 07:42 PM
As to schools [part 2] ... The problem with public schools is not a funding issue at all, is it? Proof is in the existence of so many alternatives that do better with less, even in the face of a robber-baron government monopoly, isn’t it? But then, in bold doublespeak, “inconvenient facts” only seem to matter when a liberal is claiming they exist, even when the “facts” are proven to be lies, in a court of law. Right? Solution? If we get taxes high enough, then nobody will afford private schools any more, right? Is this liberals’ solution to money-pit public schools, to simply overrun and eliminate competition? Alternative, with kids AND taxpayers in mind? Truth remains that education can be divested from government, and still work, and probably work better for less cost … as private schools already currently do, all across the country. Yes, there are things far more wasteful in government spending than the schools. But schools are proven to be privatizable, and schools currently are about a third of MN state budget; by far the largest single chunk of taxes. But what if the government were to sell the schools for private operation, like it sold land for revenue? Think of the huge shot-in-the-arm to state income, right at a time when we need to help the unemployed most! Think of the ongoing & enduring reduction of government inefficiency, that can come from government selling-off the school infrastructure to inherently more efficient private groups!
Paul January 26, 2013 at 05:10 AM
OK. Reality check. Claim (on 25 Jan 2012): "We've had a dwindling state budget relative to Gross State Product since Perpich was Governor." Response: Really? The claim sounds nice & useful to those wishing to grow government. But, reality: a sharply downturned economy in the last 4 years, atop the post-9/11 downturn. At face value, the claim is suspect. Actual numbers disprove the claim. Perpich left office in 1991. At that time, two decades ago, the biennial Minnesota budget was $20.6 Billion for the two years 1990-1991. Today, MN’s 2012-2013 biennial budget is $62.6 Billion; the 2010-2011 budget was $58.4 Billion. MN government spends $60 Billion per biennium, two decades after Perpich. (Numbers per MN Management & Budget.) Bottom line on MN government budget: Since 1991, the MN budget has TRIPPLED. Per US Dept of Commerce, MN Gross State Product was $112B in 1992. It was $245B in 2011 (the most recent available year). That's a 2-decade increase of almost 120%; basically, MN economy DOUBLED. Reality: MN economy x2 < MN government spending x3. Reality is the opposite of the claim. We have disproven yet another worn-out liberal rhetorical theatric stunt. We grow tired of typical liberal rhetoric: throw mud against the wall, run with it if it sticks. Can we try to actually use evidence, instead of empty emotional appeal, when trying to promote liberal positions?


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