NORTH MANKATO —
“If we’re going to expand it, on what items? Someone said we should focus on non-discretionary items,” Johnson said. “Maybe there are some non-discretionary purchases out there we could look at.”
Sheran said expanding the goods and services taxed could also recoup income taxes that many Minnesotans avoid paying. She said people who live in Florida for much of the year to avoid paying Minnesota income taxes, or those who work for cash and don’t report their income, would at least pay sales taxes on more items and services they purchased in the state.
Minnesota Department of Revenue Deputy Commissioner Matt Massman traveled with the three lawmakers to the town halls in North Mankato and St. Peter to highlight the governor’s budget proposal and review recent tax and budget histories.
“In nine of the last 11 years, the state budget forecast has projected a deficit for the state,” Massman said. He said Gov. Dayton has proposed a budget that tries to reverse that trend through a more fair and stable tax system.
The Legislature is facing a $627 million budget deficit forecast for the next biennium. While sizable, Massman noted it’s smaller than any going back to 2008.
“At least we’re in the Ms and not the Bs,” he said, referring to the shortfall being in the millions, not billions.