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GOP Rep to Dayton: More info on your tax plan, please

Posted by: Rachel E. Stassen-Berger under Funding, Minnesota governor, Gov. Mark Dayton, Minnesota legislature, Democrats, Republicans, State budgets Updated: January 25, 2013 - 4:38 PM

Freshman state Rep. Nick Zerwas wants more information.

On Thursday, two days after Gov. Mark Dayton released his plan to lower and broaden the Minnesota sales tax, his Revenue Department released a list of what would be taxed under his proposal.

The list included enough specifics that it sparked a long series of Twitter jabs among partisans Thursday night about all the items that would be taxed at higher and lower rates.

But the two page list was not enough for Zerwas, R-Elk River.

"To properly evaluate your whole budget, the people of Minnesota need to know what you are proposing to tax," Zerwas said in a letter to Dayton on Friday. "There is no reason this information should not have been available at the public release of your budget."

Zerwas, who said he would be a likely "no" on the governor's budget, said he need the information to be able to answer questions from constituents about how exactly they might be impacted.

"They have to know what they plan to tax and they don’t," Zerwas said in an interview. "They crunched numbers somewhere so they ought to be able to provide to Minnesota how they got there."

Revenue department officials say that the list they released on Thursday is what the budget Dayton put forth is based upon.

According to the governor's budget, lowering the sales tax to 5.5 percent from 6.875 percent and extending it to more consumer items would bring $1 06 billion to state coffers over the next two years. Newly charging sales tax to business services, like legal, accounting and advertising, would increase the state's take by $3.2 billion. Removing exceptions other items, like telecommunication equipment and advertising materials, would net another $134 million.

If Dayton's proposal passes the new tax collections would go into place in January 2014.

Meanwhile, the revenue department is expected to produce a detailed list of how much revenue each newly taxed item would bring in next week.

The governor's tax proposal will get a closer look next week. The House Taxes committee will sort through the details on Tuesday and Wednesday and the Senate Tax commitee will sort through it on Tuesday morning.

 

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