(NOTE: more video below)
Independence Party gubernatorial hopeful Tom Horner is proposing a mix of tax cuts for businesses and tax increases for consumers in a budget balancing plan he released today.
Horner wants to increase taxes on tobacco ($1.50 a pack hike on a pack of cigarettes) and alcohol (10 cents a drink), extend the sales tax to clothing and some services and allow for slot machines at the state’s two horse tracks. Horner is also proposing to lower the sales tax rate by one percent.
He also proposing a plan to cut the state’s corporate tax rate and increase the research and development tax credit for businesses.
“What we need this year, more than any other year, is a campaign in which we’re honest with Minnesotans,” Horner said. “In which we say to Minnesota that Democrats and Republicans have dug the hole so deep, it’s going to take a while for us to climb out of it. Here’s a way to climb out of it.”
Minnesota is facing a $5.8 billion projected budget deficit in the next two year budget.
In addition to the changes to the tax system, Horner also wants to freeze state hiring, cut state mandates on local governments, eliminate some tax breaks (like JOBZ and ethanol) and eliminate state aid to counties. In exchange, Horner would authorize counties to increase the county sales tax by a half a percent. He said he would also delay a school payment delay that was passed into law in the past legislative session.
Democrat Mark Dayton says Horner doesn’t want to hike income taxes on the state’s top earners but is willing to tax the entire state. Dayton is proposing an income tax increase on the state’s top earners.
Republican Tom Emmer hasn’t released a budget plan yet to fix the state’s $5.8 billion budget deficit but has said he won’t raise taxes.
You can read the full budget plan here.