State lawmakers have had a week to digest tax reform proposals unveiled by Gov. Mark Dayton, and it's clear the governor has a rough path to travel in the Legislature. The proposals are meeting with stiff resistance in legislative hearings this week.
Among the proposals is a $500 rebate for property taxpayers, which aims to cut property taxes collected by the state by $700 million a year. But Republicans said the proposal ultimately doesn't guarantee tax relief for homeowners because the Legislature can't control local levies, the Pioneer Press reported. Sen. Julianne Ortman, R-Chanhassen, suggested Dayton's property tax relief proposal was motivated by politics.
Dayton strongly defends the proposal and a top aide noted property taxes have soared 86 percent since 2002. But even Democrats, including House Speaker Paul Thissen, are questioning whether an across-the-board $500 property cut is better than a cut that offers more of a refund to those who pay more in property taxes, KSTP reported.
Dayton's sweeping sales tax proposals also are under fire. Dayton aims to lower the sales tax rate but ultimately collect more by taxing more services. Republicans said that will force middle-income Minnesotans to pay more, MPR reported.
Dayton seemed to be gearing up for a campaign-style pitch on his proposals in a Tuesday appearance before 150 leaders of Minnesota's credit unions, pushing back at GOP critics, the Star Tribune reported.
"It's a little early in the two-year process to be making crass cracks," Dayton said.