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Dayton Not Keen On Democrat’s Tax Hike Bill

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(credit: CBS) Pat Kessler
Pat Kessler knows Minnesota politics. He's been on the beat long...
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ST. PAUL, Minn. (WCCO) – Minnesota Senate Democrats passed a sweeping tax hike bill on Monday that includes a sales tax on clothing.

Gov. Mark Dayton said he won’t accept what he calls “middle class” tax hikes from his fellow Democrats.

This bill is so unpopular that it failed the first time Democrats voted on it. It’s loaded with tax hikes on every day purchases.

It lowers the state sales tax, and then extends it to many items that are not covered now.

However, Gov. Mark Dayton said “no.”

“I strongly oppose extending the sales tax to clothing, or to any additional services,” he said. “In fact, I am basically saying leave the sales tax exactly where it is now.”

Republicans are immediately zeroing in on specific tax hikes as campaign weapons.

“They’ll be asked to pay taxes on the purchase of infant Tylenol for their sick children,” Sen. Julianne Ortman said.

Democrats say the wide sweep of their tax hikes will pay for classrooms, lower property taxes, and create thousands of jobs.

But mostly it’ll end Minnesota’s ride on a 10-year deficit roller coaster.

“Nobody said that reform was going to be easy,” Taxes Committee Chair and Sen. Rod Skoe said. “And nobody said it was going to be without some controversy. But I think most of us think it’s a good direction to go, and the effort is worth it.”

Despite his opposition to sales tax hikes, Dayton said he’ll listen, but likely won’t change his mind.

There is one so-called “middle class” tax hike that Dayton and the Democrats all agree on — a tax hike on cigarettes, ranging from 94-cents to $1.60 a pack.

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