An official who has seen GOv. Dayton’s budget says the governor will not make any cuts to Local Government Aid when he releases his budget tomorrow.
The person, who asked to remain anonymous to avoid conflicting with Dayton’s official announcement, says the governor will fully fund aid to cities and counties in his budget plan. That amounts to $3.5 billion. Dayton has been arguing that recent increases in property taxes are directly correlated to the cuts in state funding to local governments made during Tim Pawlenty’s eight years as governor.
Dayton is also expected to fully fund the Renter’s Credit and other “local aids and credits.”
Dayton’s decision to fully fund LGA creates a clear distinction between his plan and efforts put forward by the GOP controlled Legislature. Dayton vetoed a bill last week that would have cut $300 million in LGA over the next two years. By fully backing LGA, Dayton wants to show that he’s representing low and middle class Minnesotans while Republicans are trying to protect wealthier Minnesotans. Republicans argue that property taxes hikes are decided by officials made at the local level.
Dayton has said he wants to raise income taxes on Minnesota’s top earners, a plan that Republicans oppose. Business groups, including the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce, also oppose the measure.
Dayton has not said how much he wants to increase income taxes on Minnesota’s top earners.
He releases his full budget at 10:30 tomorrow morning.