With an insider’s eye, Hot Dish tracks the tastiest bits of Minnesota’s political scene and keep you up-to-date on those elected to serve you.

Contributors in Minnesota: Patrick Condon, J. Patrick Coolican, Patricia Lopez, Ricardo Lopez, Abby Simons, Rachel E. Stassen-Berger and Glen Stubbe. Contributors in D.C.: Allison Sherry and Jim Spencer.

Posts about Budget news

Dayton's taking the budget on the road

Posted by: Rachel E. Stassen-Berger Updated: March 17, 2013 - 8:54 PM

Freed from the burden of pushing new sales taxes, Gov. Mark Dayton plans "‘Meetings with Mark’ in communities around the state" to hear from Minnesotans what they think of the state's budget, the governor's office said Sunday.

Last week, Dayton, a Democrat, said he backs higher income taxes on the wealthy but no longer supports a sales tax overhaul. His previous sales tax plans drew a battery of criticism from the business community and failed to attack support from many DFLers in the Legislature.

Now, with those plans behind him, Dayton is going on the road -- away from Capitol insiders -- to talk about his budget and listen.

"‘Meetings with Mark’ will give Minnesotans the opportunity to weigh-in on the state’s ongoing budget conversation – offering their ideas, questions, and concerns about the state’s education system, our economy, and our shared future. Governor Dayton welcomes all viewpoints and invites all Minnesotans to join him in conversation," the governor's office said.

His first meeting will be a town hall in Duluth, one of the state's most reliably Democratic areas. The event will be at the Duluth Public Safety Building at 6 p.m. on Wednesday.

Dayton drops much-criticized business sales tax plan

Posted by: Updated: March 8, 2013 - 9:23 AM

Gov. Mark Dayton is dramatically retooling his budget proposal and will scrap his heavily criticized tax on businesses services.

Dayton made the announcement Friday morning at the TwinWest Chamber of Commerce meeting, his administration said.

“I take seriously the concerns of the business community, a business community that has invested in Minnesota and wants to stay here,” Dayton said earlier in the week. To those threatening to move their operations to low-tax states, “that’s exactly the opposite of what I want to achieve, which is more jobs and better jobs for Minnesota.”

Without the tax on business services, Dayton will no longer have the money for his proposed $500-per-family property tax rebate.

Dayton endured blistering criticism for nearly two months as business leaders hammered on his budget proposal that called for a menu of new taxes on business services, like legal and accounting fees. The deluge of criticism came has DFL legislative allies provided scant support, even publicly questioning the viability of the plan at the Capitol. Dayton suddenly found himself in a one-man battle against some of the state’s most powerful business interests, trying to convince companies to cough up billions of dollars to boost state spending.

A new economic forecast that slashed the projected deficit to $627 million from $1.1 billion dollars gives Dayton the opportunity to retool his budget outline, mute criticism from businesses and find a plan with a better shot at passing the Legislature. For his budget to get rejected among a Legislature chalk full of likeminded DFLers would have been a major political blow as Dayton begins mapping out his re-election plans.

Dayton has spent the last few days putting more distance between his administration and the plan.

“I said from the outset, mine is the first word in this discussion,” Dayton said. “I never thought my proposal was going to pass through the legislative process and become law, as initially proposed. It was to launch a discussion.”

Dayton had returned to focusing on a proposal that largely helped get him elected – his pledge to raise taxes on high earners. That initiative remains a crucial pillar of the new plan and one that even his biggest critics expect he will finally achieve this year.

“My goals were to reform taxes overall in Minnesota and to make taxes fairer for middle-income families,” said Dayton, highlighting his income tax hike on high earners. “That’s what I have been championing in Minnesota for four years, before I was elected, after I was elected and continue to.”
 

Dayton says he takes businesses' tax concerns 'very seriously'

Posted by: Rachel E. Stassen-Berger Updated: March 4, 2013 - 10:28 AM

Gov. Mark Dayton said on Monday that he takes businesses tax "concerns very seriously" but it would be unfair to drop his proposed sales tax increase on businesses services but keep in his proposed sales taxes increase on consumer services.

"My goal is to have taxes be fair," the governor said.

Since January, Dayton has heard long and loud complaints about his idea of newly imposing sales taxes to the services businesses sale to each other. Given those and an improved state economic forecast, Dayton said he would reconsider his total tax proposal.

But, in a Minnesota Public Radio interview, the governor made no promises that he would drop that part of his plan.

Dayton, who will release a new budget plan next week, suggested a scenario which could involve dropping some increases in his tax proposal in exchange for cutting out his proposed $500 property tax rebate for homeowners. The budget he outlined in January would bring in $2 billion more for state coffers through sales tax increases and give homeowners nearly $1.5 billion in rebates.

"Give me a few days and I think you will see something different coming out in my revised proposal," Dayton said.

The governor also said that it would not be right to drop the idea of extending sales taxes to business to business services but leave in place the plan to extend sales taxes to consumer services.

"Turns out that most business people, who were advocating broadening the base...they want to tax consumers but they don't want to pay taxes themselves. I just think that's unfair but that's the reality," Dayton said. "If we have to do away with both (sales tax on business services and consumer services) then we've got a very different budget situation."

A Star Tribune Minnesota poll released on Sunday found that Minnesotans were split on the ideas of extending sales taxes to consumer services and clothing but against the idea of extending sales taxes on the services businesses sell to each other.

Dayton also said he was not interested in hiking taxes on alcohol.

"I don't support any increased taxes on alcohol. There's no increased taxes in my budget on alcohol consumption or the production of it," the governor said.

A Star Tribune Minnesota Poll found that 61 percent of Minnesotans said they would support increased alcohol taxes in exchange for dropping other taxes.

In the poll increasing income tax on the wealthy was found to be slightly less popular with support from 54 percent of Minnesotans.

Dayton: Minnesota state budget 'is not supposed to be easy'

Posted by: Rachel E. Stassen-Berger Updated: February 11, 2013 - 5:51 PM

After weeks of battering criticism about his tax and budget plan, Gov. Mark Dayton on Monday acknowledged the unhappiness but said he is standing up for "basic values" of the state.

"It's not ever easy. It is not supposed to be easy," Dayton said before a small group of veteran DFLers. "That's the process...There is supposed to be this clash of ideas."

The governor's proposal would raise taxes through newly charging sales tax for many consumer items and, prompting high-level outcry, charging sales tax for the services business do for each other. At the Capitol, both Democrats and Republicans have picked at details of the proposal.

It is not clear, it seems even to the governor, what the DFL-controlled Legislature will end up doing with the governor's tax plan.

"You try to assess what's possible and what's not," Dayton said.

But, he said, raising taxes will allow spending on education and state services that the state desperately needs.

"I feel like (sometimes) I need to be Paul Revere, going through raising the warning alarm," Dayton said.

Asked directly by an audience member how his sales tax proposal would fare in the Legislature, Dayton said that "no one wants to pay more taxes" but his budget would create fairness. He said that fairness, however, is not always persuasive in politics.

"It's the best package I could come up with," Dayton asked, naming his proposal Plan A and status quo as Plan B. "What's Plan C?"

"I want to hear what the other possibilities are," he said later.

 

 

 

Dayton: Minnesota state budget 'is not supposed to be easy'

Posted by: Rachel E. Stassen-Berger Updated: February 11, 2013 - 5:51 PM

After weeks of battering criticism about his tax and budget plan, Gov. Mark Dayton on Monday acknowledged the unhappiness but said he is standing up for "basic values" of the state.

"It's not ever easy. It is not supposed to be easy," Dayton said before a small group of veteran DFLers. "That's the process...There is supposed to be this clash of ideas."

The governor's proposal would raise taxes through newly charging sales tax for many consumer items and, prompting high-level outcry, charging sales tax for the services business do for each other. At the Capitol, both Democrats and Republicans have picked at details of the proposal.

It is not clear, it seems even to the governor, what the DFL-controlled Legislature will end up doing with the governor's tax plan.

"You try to assess what's possible and what's not," Dayton said.

But, he said, raising taxes will allow spending on education and state services that the state desperately needs.

"I feel like (sometimes) I need to be Paul Revere, going through raising the warning alarm," Dayton said.

Asked directly by an audience member how his sales tax proposal would fare in the Legislature, Dayton said that "no one wants to pay more taxes" but his budget would create fairness. He said that fairness, however, is not always persuasive in politics.

"It's the best package I could come up with," Dayton asked, naming his proposal Plan A and status quo as Plan B. "What's Plan C?"

"I want to hear what the other possibilities are," he said later.

 

 

 

      

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