ST. PAUL – On February 15, Governor Mark Dayton unveiled his long awaited balanced budget proposal. State Representative Greg Davids (R-Preston) said he was disappointed with the plan, as it increases state government spending by $5 billion and raises taxes by more than $4 billion.
“I expected a bit more fiscal responsibility from the governor,” Davids said. “Minnesota is in an economic crisis, and the governor’s response is to raise taxes. That’s a very unrealistic approach.”
With Minnesota facing a $6.2 billion budget deficit, many expected Governor Dayton to propose some tax increases to solve the problem. But Davids said Dayton went overboard, proposing $4 in new taxes for every 50 cents in budget cuts. Under the governor’s proposal, Minnesota would spend $37 billion on state government programs over the next two years, up from $32 billion from the last budget.
Davids, the chairman of the powerful House Taxes Committee, said he will give Governor Dayton’s tax hike proposal a fair hearing. But he knows that the Republican controlled legislature will not stand for any tax increases, and doubts many Democrats will support his plan either.
“The governor has told us repeatedly that he wants to work together with the Legislature, yet he offers a proposal that is sure to go nowhere,” Davids said. “I respect the governor for giving us his dream proposal, but hopefully he realizes this dream will not become reality.”