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Dayton releases list of services he proposes to tax


Gov. Mark Dayton on Tuesday raised a lot of eyebrows when he officially unveiled a proposal to lower the sales tax rate in Minnesota – but also broaden the services the state taxes. Business and industry leaders weren't pleased, and they were eager for more specifics.

On Thursday night, Dayton released a list of the specific services he proposes should be subject to new taxes.

The Associated Press reports that the list includes new sales taxes on textbooks and computers for school use, prescription medications and eyeglasses, building materials for residences of disabled veterans, mining production materials and residential heating fuel. Also on the list: wedding planning, dating services, golf lessons, lawyer bills, architectural services and tattoos. None of those services are currently taxed.

MPR has a full version of the list.

Dayton knows he will be under heavy pressure from business and lobby groups to create exceptions. He's bracing for the backlash and expects to be besieged for months from business owners, the Star Tribune reports. "It's insane," John Risdall, CEO of Risdall Advertising, told the Pioneer Press of the new sales tax proposals. "There's no other way to describe it."

Dayton came under fire immediately Thursday from leaders in the newspaper industry, who object to Dayton's proposed new tax on printing, advertising and subscriptions, the AP reported.

But Dayton said business leaders would have to make a "very compelling case" to be pulled from his list.

Of course, lawmakers would have to approve the broadening of the sales tax base. Republicans have expressed deep concern about the proposals.

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