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Dayton takes flight to sell his budget proposal

Posted by: Eric Roper Updated: May 26, 2011 - 12:35 PM

The dueling campaigns between the governor and Republicans to sell their budget proposals continued Thursday with another statewide fly-around.

This time it was Gov. Dayton lifting off at Holman Field Airport in St. Paul, along with Sen. Tom Bakk and Rep. Paul Thissen. Republicans made a similar journey on Tuesday. Both groups paid for it with campaign funds.

On top of selling his plan to tax the wealthy, Dayton said he will encourage people to "ask their Republican legislators...why they would take this extreme position to even shut down the functioning of state government" to avoid raising taxes.

The state Republican Party, meanwhile, contends it will be Dayton's shutdown.

GOP lawmakers have said Dayton's income tax plan will hit businesses filing as individuals. Dayton responded Thursday that he may be willing to accomodate those filers.

"If they want an exemption of pass-through money from business activities, that’s something we can certainly look at and talk about," Dayton said.

One of the key messages of the trip will be pointing out the GOP budget's possible impact on property taxes in cities like Duluth, Moorhead, Austin and Mankato. The governor's office distributed flyers claiming that local government aid cuts and other measures will lead to property tax hikes.

Republicans have dismissed that argument, noting that local governments can choose whether or not to raise property taxes. Dayton said Thursday that those governments are already "the most frugal and fiscally responsible" and only raise property taxes so they can maintain essential services.

“If you cut the local government aids drastically you have to raise property taxes or you’ll eliminate street plowing and repairs and parks and libraries, a lot of which have already been seriously affected," Dayton said.

Bakk then pointed to the property tax increases under Gov. Pawlenty, who was also insistent on not raising income taxes.

 

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