Gov. Mark Dayton said on Tuesday he was "very, very, very disappointed" that the DFL Legislature has not yet delivered a tax cut bill to his desk and laid the blame squarely on a tiff over a proposed new Senate office building.
The tax cut measure, which the DFL controlled House has already approved, would bring tax cuts to businesses, students, newly adoptive parents and people who have gone through foreclosure. The governor called for immediate action so that Minnesotans who file tax returns by the April 15 deadline would see the savings.
The DFL governor, making his first Capitol appearance since his early February hip surgery, said it is "unacceptable" that the Legislature has not yet allowed him to put the tax cuts in law.
He said the delay was all the fault of his fellow Democrats, "which is unfortunate."
The root of the problem, as Dayton described it, is a dispute over a $90 million Senate office building and parking ramps.
Senate Majority Leader Tom Bakk, DFL-Cook, has made clear he wants the House to finish its sign off on the building plans. The House has not yet been willing to do so.
Dayton said that difference has caused the Senate to delay passage of the tax cut bill.
Last week, Bakk flatly denied that he was blocking progress on other issues for sake of the building, claiming such a thought never even occurred to him. Dayton made clear Tuesday he did not believe that.
On Tuesday, asked if he was responsible for the current conundrum given that he accepted a tax bill that included the business taxes he now wants to dump, the Senate office building and did not include the tax cuts for middle income Minnesotans he now demands, Dayton's answer was simple.
"Sure," he said. He added: "And I'm doing everything to correct it now."