Minnesota Republicans detailed their proposal to cut $2 billion in taxes and Democrats talked about who stands to be hurt by the resulting budget cuts.
Rep. Greg Davids, the House Tax chair, said 75% of the tax cut is targeted to the middle class. He had considered, but rejected, cutting tax rates because doing so would benefit the highest income earners the most. Governor Mark Dayton made adding the tax on the highest earners a high priority last session and Davids said if he proposed repealing or lowering that rate, Dayton would not sign it.
Minority Leader Paul Thissen said the proposed Republican tax cut is a “bright shiny object”, but for someone making about $50,000 a year will amount to about $70 a year for the next two years. Thissen called it a “Davids deception”. Thissen says corporations benefit much more than the average Minnesotan if you consider the permanent property tax built into the bill. Thissen said the big benefactors would be Home Depot, Walmart and other large corporations that own a lot of commercial land in Minnesota.
Thissen said the tax cuts would also mean cutting education. One teacher who spoke at the news conference said if education funding doesn’t keep pace with inflation, class sizes would increase making it harder for teachers to give students individual attention.
Governor Mark Dayton has proposed spending much of the state’s projected $1.9 billion surplus on pre-kindergarten education and will likely oppose the Republican tax cut proposal.
Full video of both press conferences
Video at below: Minnesota Republicans present their tax proposal
Video below that: DFL Leaders respond