GOP stands firm on tax hikes

Republicans in the Minnesota House and Senate are standing firm in their opposition to any plans to raise taxes to balance the state’s budget. GOP House Speaker Kurt Zellers and GOP Senate Majority Leader Amy Koch held a news conference after Gov. Dayton’s State of the State. They suggested Dayton’s speech was looking backwards and did not think Dayton’s call for greater investment was necessary as the state faces a $6.2 billion budget deficit.

“He is making promises that he does not have the dollars to support,” Koch said.

“If you take away all of the fancy words like investment, Zellers said of Dayton’s speech. “It comes down to taxes and spending.”

Democrats in the Legislature said Republicans are already raising taxes. They point to the Phase 1 budget bill that cuts aid to cities and counties. Revenue officials estimate it could force local governments to raise $322 million in property taxes.