The Free Press, Mankato, MN

State, national news

March 14, 2013

Dayton draws Minnesota tax debate into sharper focus

ST. PAUL — Gov. Mark Dayton on Thursday set up the clear-cut tax debate his aides say he's always craved, demanding that Minnesota's best-off residents pay higher income taxes to boost spending on education and other services.

Dayton released an updated budget plan that leans heavily on a new income tax rate levied on the top 2 percent of annual earners, extracting $1.1 billion in the next two years from an estimated 54,000 filers. The money would help erase a $627 million budget shortfall, bolster preschool through college education and stock loan and grant funds for business expansions.

In all, the Democratic governor is seeking more than $1.8 billion in previously proposed new taxes, including a higher cigarette tax and extra burdens on Minnesota companies that can now shield profits they make overseas.

"Just saying no to tax increases is not a budget plan and is not responsible," Dayton said.

The top-tier income tax was a centerpiece of Dayton's 2010 run for governor, but he wound up backing away from it to end a budget stalemate with Republicans in 2011. Now with Democrats in charge of the Legislature, Dayton stands to get his wish.

Dayton's two-year budget plan unveiled in January had also included a sales tax expansion that would have yielded more money that he was planning to use to compensate for property tax rebates and other tax code revisions. Dayton began rewriting the budget after a state economic forecast trimmed Minnesota's projected deficit by more than 40 percent, and he officially ditched the sales tax plan Thursday.

Dayton left his income tax plan intact. Under it, taxable income above $250,000 for couples and $150,000 for single filers would be assessed at a 9.85 percent rate, much more than the 7.85 percent current top rate. Officials say that translates, for instance, into gross incomes in excess of $306,000 for a married couple with two children given deductions. Some businesses that file their returns through the personal income tax would be affected.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
State, national news
  • Congress racing to finish Congress races to finish veterans, highway bills

    July 31, 2014

  • Target New CEO [Duplicate] Target names Pepsi's Cornell as chairman, CEO MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Target has hired Pepsi executive Brian Cornell as its new chairman and CEO as it looks to recover from a huge data breach and troubles in Canada. Cornell replaces interim CEO John Mulligan, who is chief financial officer for the M

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • Brain wave monitoring is better gauge than using a focus group, study says To predict a large population’s likely response to something — a product, politician or policy — political consultants, marketing gurus and advertising execs have long favored the focus group. Ask a small segment of the target audience what it thinks

    July 31, 2014

  • Argentina slides into default as debt talks fail NEW YORK (AP) — The collapse of talks with U.S. creditors sent Argentina into its second debt default in 13 years and raised questions about what comes next for financial markets and the South American nation's staggering economy. A midnight Wednesd

    July 31, 2014

  • Exchange Bee Researcher [Duplicate] Bee researcher takes aim at central Minnesota park WAITE PARK — Crystal Boyd strained four bees, three flies and one leafhopper from a yellow pan trap, the third of 12 in a transect topping a granite outcrop in Quarry Park Scientific and Natural Area.She popped everything into a labeled, zip-top plas

    July 31, 2014 4 Photos

  • Cinema verite documentarian Robert Drew dies at 90 Filmmaker Robert Drew, a pioneer of the modern documentary who in "Primary" and other movies mastered the intimate, spontaneous style known as cinema verite and schooled a generation of influential directors that included D.A. Pennebaker and Albert M

    July 30, 2014

  • Homeowner killed, another injured in Vegas crime spree LAS VEGAS — A horrific carjacking and home invasion spree ended with two people dead and a woman in critical condition. One victim, Richard Ramos, a 59-year-old father of four, “fought to his death” to protect his wife and children from their attack

    July 30, 2014

  • Officer Shooting Minnesota-9 [Duplicate] UPDATE: Suspect in Minnesota officer killing in custody WEST ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Police in Minnesota say a man wanted in the shooting death of an officer is in custody after being shot by police. St. Paul police spokesman Sgt. Paul Paulos says 39-year-old Brian Fitch Sr. got out of a minivan firing at

    July 30, 2014 4 Photos

  • Officer Shooting Minnesota-3 [Duplicate] Minnesota officer killed making traffic stop WEST ST. PAUL (AP) — A police officer in Minnesota was fatally shot Wednesday while making a traffic stop and authorities said they were searching for a suspect. Mendota Heights police officer Scott Patrick, 47, was shot about 12:20 p.m. after pulli

    July 30, 2014 2 Photos

  • Possible suspect caught in Minnesota cop shooting WEST ST. PAUL (AP) — A potential suspect in the shooting of a police officer in Minnesota has been captured. Minnesota Public Radio News reports that the officer was killed. Television news footage showed the man being pulled from his vehicle Wednes

    July 30, 2014