St. Paul – Representative Brian Johnson (R-Cambridge) today issued a response to the 2014-2015 budget proposal announced by Governor Dayton. In total, Gov. Dayton’s budget calls for nearly $38 billion in total spending during the next biennium, a 7.6% increase over the current two-year budget cycle. The plan also raises taxes on Minnesotans by $3.7 billion while only cutting $225 million in spending. All told, the tax increase is the largest ever proposed by a Minnesota governor.
“I am troubled by the size of the Governor’s proposed budget and even more troubled by the imbalance it is built upon,” Johnson said Tuesday. “Governor Dayton claims his plan is balanced, yet for every one dollar in state spending that would be cut, the plan raises taxes on Minnesotans by 16 dollars – we can do better.”
The budget proposed would also instate a sales tax on items and services that are currently exempt, including clothing, personal services like haircuts and oil changes, and professional services like legal work and accounting. The Dayton administration forecasts $2 billion in extra revenue from the new sales tax. Dayton also proposed raising the income tax rate on the wealthy just weeks after the federal government did the same on January 1.
“Very few families in my district will see their income grow by nearly 8% in the next two years and there is no reason for government to do the same,” Johnson said. “This new tax on families and businesses will kill jobs, decrease our economic competitiveness and unnecessarily swell government to unprecedented levels.”
Going even further, Gov. Dayton is asking for an additional tax of $.94 on every pack of cigarettes sold in the state along with a brand new transit sales tax for the seven-county metro area. For those residents that move elsewhere in the winter months, a new “snowbird” income tax rate is also being requested of the legislature.
“I look forward to a robust and honest discussion with my colleagues in the Minnesota House regarding this budget proposal and encourage my constituents to contact me with their thoughts,” Johnson added.
Johnson can be reached by phone at (651) 296-4346. He can also be contacted via e-mail at email@example.com, or via U.S. Mail at 233 State Office Building, St. Paul, MN 55155.