MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Minnesota’s Senate Republicans unveiled a sweeping tax plan Tuesday.
It would cut taxes and sync up the state’s tax code with the federal government.
If lawmakers do nothing, hundreds of thousands of Minnesotans could face steep tax hikes — but there could be a last-minute glitch.
There are now three separate tax plans floating around, and very little time left in the session.
The Senate plan cuts the lowest Minnesota tax rate from 5.35 percent to 5.1 percent. Eighty-two percent of taxpayers would see a tax cut of $1 to $150.
Republicans say their plan will improve Minnesota’s job growth, and its reputation.
“This state is now an outlier,” said Sen. Roger Chamberlain (R)-Taxes Committee Chair. “’Get out or don’t go there.’ That’s what they’re saying on national publications. And we are an outlier. We need economic growth.”
Tax cuts are priority one, but Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton sprung a surprise — calling for $137 million in emergency, one-time funding for schools facing budget distress and possibly hundreds of layoffs.
“It would be terribly wrong for the legislature and myself to spend the session’s final three weeks discussing tax cuts,” Dayton said.
Republicans are open to a one-time fix, but they are blaming school budget woes on the Dayton diverting K-12 funding to other programs, like pre-K.
“I think part of the problem has been the governor is coming up with new initiatives that help divert monies away from the core mission of schools,” said Rep. Jenifer Loon (R)-Education Finance Chair.
Dayton said the budget status for many schools is dire. He said schools may be forced to lay off hundreds of teachers and staff without an emergency infusion of money.