MN House and Senate approval to help close budget gap - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

MN House and Senate approval to help close budget gap

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ST. PAUL, MN (AP) -- The Minnesota Legislature has sent Republican Gov. Tim Pawlenty a bill to close a budget gap in part by raising income taxes on the highest-paid Minnesotans.

Monday's 71-63 vote followed approval by the state Senate with a bare 34-33 majority.

Pawlenty has promised to veto the bill.

It would raise more than $430 million through the middle of next year by establishing a new income tax bracket for couples with incomes topping $200,000 after deductions and credits. The higher tax bracket would disappear if the state budget returns to a surplus.

The tax increase is one segment of majority Democrats' plan to wipe away a $2.9 billion deficit. Spending cuts and payment delays make up the rest.

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