Democrats in the Minnesota House want the state’s wealthiest residents to temporarily pay an income tax surcharge to eliminate a funding delay to state schools.
The Democrats released a budget outline today that also includes a permanent income tax increase similar to the one Gov. Dayton has proposed on couples with taxable incomes of at least $250,000 and individuals who make $150,000 and more. The House DFL temporary tax increase would hit people making more than $500,000 a year.
House DFL leaders say higher taxes are needed to erase the deficit, and increase funding for education.
“We really want to make 2013 the education session,” said DFL House Speaker Paul Thissen. “It is the single most important way to ensure Minnesota’s greatness to come.”
But Republican House Minority Leader Kurt Daudt says the tax hikes would make Minnesota’s income tax rate one of the highest in the nation.
“Democrats want Minnesota to be number one in higher taxes,” Daudt said. “Republicans want Minnesota to be number one in job opportunities, and I think that’s the biggest difference between Republicans and Democrats today.”
Daudt says he thinks policy leaders can erase the projected $627 million deficit and pay back an $800 million school funding delay without raising taxes but have not specified which programs they would cut to do it.
DFL Senate Majority Leader Tom Bakk says he isn’t sure he wants to put Minnesota in the top five states nationally in any tax category. He says Senate Democrats will release their spending priorities on Wednesday.
Here are the House targets: