After reviewing Gov. Mark Dayton’s latest budget proposal, State Rep. Deb Kiel (R-Crookston) said she is concerned that the governor’s proposed $3.7 billion increase in taxes will fall on the shoulders of the middle class.
“The governor is proposing to expand sales taxes on simple necessities like car repair, over-the-counter medication, and legal services, all items that will hit the middle class harder than ‘the rich’ we’ve been told are to ‘pay their fair share,’” Kiel said. “We have heard the mantra ‘tax the rich, tax the rich’ over and over again, but when it comes down to it, the middle class will be paying for Gov. Dayton’s bigger government.”
Gov. Dayton’s tax plan is the largest ever proposed by a Minnesota governor, Kiel said. Along with an expansion of $2.1 billion in sales taxes, the governor aims to increase the cigarette tax by $.94 per pack, add business-to-business taxes, add online internet sales taxes, increase taxes on couples who make more than $250,000, and increase state spending by an extra $2.5 billion, she said.
“Minnesota is starting to slowly but surely climb out of a recession. Compared to just two years ago, more people are working, more businesses are hiring, and the budget outlook is much better than expected,” Kiel explained. “Positive economic forecasts over the last two years are proof that a more fiscally prudent approach to the budget works and will continue to work. Now is not the time to grow government bigger than ever and make the middle class pay for it.”
With Democrats in control of both the Minnesota House and Senate, Kiel said Gov. Dayton now has no reason to work with legislative Republicans on controlled spending or government reform.