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Dayton budget: DFL lawmakers quietly mull, GOP blasts away

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DFL Gov. Mark Dayton rolled out a number of dramatic tax and budget initiatives on Tuesday that included a lot of proposals for lawmakers to chew on – from a $500 property tax rebate to sales tax proposals that include a 94-cent tax increase on cigarettes and a tax on clothing.

In all, Dayton proposes $2.1 billion more in state taxes.

Republican lawmakers were not pleased. They did not buy a Dayton claim that most Minnesotans ultimately would pay less in taxes. "Get ready for more taxes," Senate Minority Leader David Hann, R-Eden Prairie, said in the Pioneer Press.

GOP lawmakers shot holes in a number of the proposals, including a plan to expand the state sales tax to currently-untaxed goods and services, like haircuts, the Star Tribune reported.

"My first reaction was, 'Oh my God, this is a massive, massive proposal, and a massive tax increase,'" Sen. David Senjem, R-Rochester, told KAAL.

Democrats, who are likely to ultimately be far more supportive of the Dayton measures, did not immediately rush to embrace them, MPR reported.

MPR noted that hearings will begin Wednesday on the Dayton plan that aims to overhaul the state's tax code, erase a projected $1.1 billion budget deficit and increase spending by $1 billion, particularly on education.

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