MNGOP legislators want to phase out business property tax, pay for it by... well, they aren't sure
Ortman's proposal would essentially force Dayton to do GOP dirty work the GOP itself doesn't want to do. Think the governor is eager to sign up for that?
MNGOP lawmakers really, really want to cut taxes. But tax cuts require spending decreases, and that's where the problem lies.
On a 72-62 party-line vote, House Republicans yesterday passed a bill that would cut business property taxes by $40 million next year and then reduce the levy annually until it is eliminated in 2026.
In a shining example of trickle-up economics, House GOPers want to pay for the cuts by reducing or eliminating tax refunds for 313,000 renters who earn less than $55,000 annually, but Senate Republicans have already gone on the record and said they won't support the House proposal.
Senate GOPers aren't as far along as their House colleagues in advancing a tax cut bill through their chamber, but yesterday outlined a plan to cut the state's marriage and business taxes by a total of $102.5 million. How would they pay for it? They don't know.
The Senate bill leaves that question to Gov. Mark Dayton's administration, but would take money from the state's newly replenished budget reserve if Dayton can't identify over a hundred mil in cuts himself.
DFLers, unsurprisingly, aren't jazzed about that idea. Said Sen. Rod Skoe, D-Clearbook:
Skoe to MNGOP: If you're gonna talk the talk about tax cuts, then walk the walk by identifying ways to reduce state spending.
To say the governor is going to find $100 million in savings without putting any ideas on paper -- it is not the way we do business. If you are going to provide tax relief in one area, you have to find some revenue somewhere else to pay for it.
Aside from the fact there are vast differences between the House and Senate proposals that have yet to be reconciled, there's another problem facing Republican legislators -- Dayton will almost surely veto any bill that cuts taxes just as the state begins to dig itself out of the fiscal abyss.
Sen. Julianne Ortman, R-Chanhassen and Senate Taxes Committee Chairwoman, said her chamber's version of a tax cut bill is "about reinvesting in growth and economic activity for our businesses and tax relief for our families. These are Minnesotan goals, so I hope the governor would step up and help us identify the savings we need to pay for these investments."
Asking Dayton to do the dirty work that GOPers themselves aren't willing to do while Republicans undoubtedly take political credit for stimulating job creation? Somehow we doubt the governor is eager to "step up" and swallow that political poo-poo platter.
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