ST. PAUL – State Representative Greg Davids (R-Preston) said that while he appreciates that Governor Dayton has submitted a budget proposal to the legislature, he is dismayed that the plan contains too much spending and too many tax increases.
“We’re reviewing his ideas in the House Ways and Means Committee, and unfortunately if you’re not a fan of significant government spending and massive tax increases, there’s not much to like,” Davids said.
The governor is proposing a $45.8 billion budget for Fiscal Year 2018-19, which is roughly a ten percent increase over the $41.5 billion Fiscal Year 2016-17 budget.
Despite Minnesota's $1.4 billion surplus, Governor Dayton would like $1.5 billion in new taxes and fees over the next two years alone by increases in the gas tax, tab fees, the Metro area sales tax, new license/title surcharges, and more. He also wants a $1.4 billion tax increase on trips to the doctor by extending the provider tax, otherwise known as the sick tax.
“In 2011, Governor Dayton signed into law a bill that would repeal the provider tax in 2019,” Davids said. “Now Governor Dayton wants to bring this proposal back to life, forcing the sickest of the sick to pay a two percent tax. It’s unfortunate the governor wants to travel back down this road, but we’re going to make sure it doesn’t happen.”
“The short story of the governor’s proposal is that in the face of a $1.4 billion surplus, or a $1.4 billion overcharge to Minnesotans, he wants massive tax increases,” Davids continued. “As chairman of the House taxes committee, I can assure you House lawmakers are not interested in increasing taxes on the middle class.”
That said, Davids said he has pledged to give Governor Dayton’s tax increase proposal a thorough and fair debate in the Minnesota House Taxes Committee.