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Lawmakers Hash Out Tax Cuts In Light Of Surplus

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(credit: CBS) Nina Moini
Nina Moini joined the WCCO-TV team in August of 2013. She reports f...
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ST. PAUL, Minn. (WCCO) – This year it’s not a matter of if there will be tax cuts for Minnesotans; the only question is by how much. Lawmakers are busy coming up with ways to use the state’s billion-dollar-plus surplus.

Minnesota’s economy this election year is generating the kinds of jobs and tax revenues not seen in years. But different sides have different ideas about how to give some of that money back to the voters.

Just 10 days into the 2014 session, Minnesota House Democrats put a $500 million tax cut on the table, including some of middle class tax cuts.

“The clock is ticking. This is the time sensitive stuff we need to do right now,” Rep. Ann Lenczewski (DFL-Bloomington) said. “We need to get these middle class tax cuts to Minnesotans.”

Gov. Mark Dayton also unveiled his own $616 million cut that is similar to the House plan that would save Minnesotans money in areas like day care and education.

Republican leaders in the Minnesota Legislature say the more than $1 billion budget surplus shows how state government has been overtaxing Minnesotans.

“It is a day that will live in infamy, to have Democrats running over themselves to get down to the table and see who can do it the most,” Rep. Greg Davids (R-Preston) said, “and doing it enthusiastically.”

Republicans have been wearing “Give it back” buttons. They say they want to gather opinions from Minnesotans about the best way to rebate the surplus.

The reason for the urgency despite the session running until May is that lawmakers want to get these cuts passed before March 14, so Minnesotans can make any claims on this year’s taxes.

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