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Talking Points: Deadline To A Budget Deal, Tax Bill

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(credit: CBS) Esme Murphy
Esme Murphy, a reporter and Sunday morning anchor for WCCO-TV, h...
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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The scheduled end of the legislative session is just two weeks from Monday and the state legislature is far from a deal on the critical issue of a budget and tax bill.

Even though the DFL is in control of the house, senate and governor’s office there is sharp disagreement about what kinds of items should be taxed to take care of the state’s estimated $600 million shortfall.

The proposed tax on clothing sales is just one example of the budget chaos at the Capitol. The latest proposal from the Minnesota Senate is a tax on all Minnesota clothing sales — but DFL leaders in the house are saying no way and so is Gov. Mark Dayton.

Now Dayton originally supported a tax on clothing sales over $100 — but then pulled it off the table when his proposed business-to-business service tax got the axe after widespread criticism.

If that all sounds confusing — well it is — especially when you consider the people making these budget proposals are all members of the same DFL party. Professor Larry Jacobs of the Humphrey School of Public Policy appeared on WCCO Sunday Morning.

“I don’t think it’s going to stay the way the senate has proposed it,” Jacobs said. “There is no doubt the polling shows that expanding the sales tax to clothing and some other items is not popular. The senate steps back and says we got to take this painful step in order to stabilize our tax structure and modernize our tax structure, but remember the governor and the house do not support the senate view, probably. They are going to prevail.”

Another factor to consider, the leaders of the Minnesota House, senate and the governor may all be members of the same political party but they face a very different re-election deadline. While the governor and all house members are up for re-election in 2014 — the Minnesota Senate is not up until 2016 and that gives the senate more time between any unpopular vote they take and when voters cast their ballots.

You can watch WCCO Sunday Morning with Esme Murphy and Matt Brickman every Sunday at 6 a.m. and 10:30 a.m.

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