Democrats in the Minnesota Senate have released their plan for erasing a $627 million budget deficit and making some new investments in key areas.
The Senate targets include $486 million in new spending for education and $463 million for tax aids and credits to cities and counties. Senate Majority Leader Tom Bakk, DFL-Cook, said the education number includes a state buy-down of local property tax levies. Bakk said while House Democrats put a higher priority on paying back the school funding shift, the Senate DFL is putting a higher priority on property tax relief.
“I think we’re both right. I think they’re both very serious priorities for Minnesotans,” Bakk said. “But we just didn’t have enough money to do both, and the House didn’t have enough money to do both.”
Bakk said details of the Senate tax proposal have yet to be worked out. But he said income tax increases on top earners and a cigarette tax increase are certainties.
Senate Republicans quickly criticized the DFL plan.
Senate Minority Leader David Hann, R-Eden Prairie, said that Democrats are proposing job-killing tax increases.
“We should make sure every dollar the state takes is used efficiently and effectively before we ask Minnesotans to pay more,” Hann said. “The Senate DFL budget includes zero reform and zero new ideas.”
Here are the DFL targets: