Dayton: Tax plan will stay the same

Democrat Mark Dayton says he doesn’t have a “secret plan to raise taxes” and says accusations that he does are “ridiculous.”

Dayton made the comments today after Republican Tom Emmer suggested Dayton has a “secret plan” to increase taxes by $1 billion on middle class Minnesotans to close a nearly $6 billion projected budget gap.

Dayton, who already proposed increasing income taxes on Minnesota’s top earners, said he has no secret plan to raise taxes more.

“If there is, it’s a secret to me too,” Dayton said. “Absolutely not. It’s just ridiculous. Representative Emmer up until now has been pretty forthright with his conduct. I hope that doesn’t change but to me it’s a sign of his desperation.”

Dayton said his plan to erase the projected budget deficit is still about $1 billion short. He said in the past that he’ll look for more revenue (taxes) or spending cuts to plug the gap.

Now, he says he’ll work to find the savings in cuts alone. If he can’t make up the difference in cuts, Dayton said he would delay paying part of a $1.4 billion school funding shift.

“As a fallback position, if necessary, I’ll have to delay repaying some of the $1.4 billion shift. I’m going to find the savings with additional cuts and administrative services and if not, I’ve said what the fallback position is and none of it involves raising taxes.”

Dayton has said in the past that he wants to pay back the school shift in full over the next two years. Both Emmer and Independence Party candidate Tom Horner have said they’ll delay repaying the school shift until 2014.

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