Republicans react to governor's budget plan - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

By Fanna Haile-Selassie

Republicans react to governor's budget plan

St. Paul, MN (KTTC) --

Governor Mark Dayton announced how he plans to fix the state's $6.2 billion budget gap. The biggest change in the proposal is the taxable income rate for the highest earners in Minnesota.

Dayton proposed creating a fourth tax-tier for couples who make more than $150,000 after deductions For single filers, it's more than $100,000, and single, head of household filers, it's $130,000.

Then Dayton would create an additional, 3-year temporary tax for those who make more than $500,000 a year, and increase the property tax for all homes worth more than $1 million. At a total of 13.95% maximum income tax rate, Minnesota would have the highest rate in the country.

"A feeble and pathetic attempt." That's what House Speaker Kurt Zellers called Dayton's budget plan. DFL leaders, though, claim the wealthiest Minnesotans are finally paying their fair share of the tax burden.

Through cities across Minnesota, Mark Dayton campaigned on raising the taxes on the state's highest earners, and in his budget outline Tuesday, he fulfilled a campaign promise.

"You know, I don't want to say this dead on arrival, I don't think it's got much of a heartbeat," exclaimed Geoff Michel, the senate deputy republican leader.

Now the hard part starts.

The governor proposed pushing the maximum income tax rate for the wealthiest to 13.95%, the highest in the nation. That didn't sit well with many republicans. GOP leaders leveled some of their harshest words against the governor's proposal. The republican caucus has been just as adamant as the governor to not increase taxes on Minnesotans.

"To the employers and the employees across the great state of Minnesota, don't worry, we're here for you. We're not going to let Mark Dayton tax your job out of our state," promises House Speaker Kurt Zellers.

"If we're going to have a successful society, people need to know that other citizens are paying their same share of income in taxes, especially people at the top," says Governor Mark Dayton.

DFL leaders also responded to the governor's proposal, applauding him for keeping up with his campaign promises.

"While the republicans are busy finding a way to protect the richest Minnesotans from sharing in this budget solutions, the house DFL caucus is going to be focused on making sure that we work diligently to preserve Minnesota values of shared responsibility and broad prosperity for all Minnesotans," explains house democrat leader Paul Thissen.

With the line drawn in the sand, it was only Governor Mark Dayton who agreed that nothing was set in stone. But he dared republicans to show him a better plan.

GOP leaders have yet to propose their budget solution, and say they will by the end of March. If you'd like to see the Governor's entire budget proposal, we have it online, just go to

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