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Local Republican Lawmakers React to Gov. Dayton’s Budget Plan

Posted at: 01/22/2013 10:43 PM
Updated at: 01/22/2013 10:47 PM
By: Steph Crock

(ABC 6 News) -- It's only been a matter of hours since Governor Dayton revealed his budget plan, and some lawmakers are already speaking out against it.

Governor Dayton's plan to fix the state's budget means changes across the board. Ones that would impact every single person in Minnesota. The governor’s proposed budget already has people talking on how it could affect the state and even our region. We met with area lawmakers at the capitol to hear their reaction.

"I propose the fiscal year 14/15 biannual budget will provide what Minnesotan’s want and deserve from their government," said Governor Dayton at the start of his budget proposal.

It was a proposal that caught some by surprise. "I was literally stunned that the governor’s budget proposal was actually to increase taxes by $3.7 billion," said Senator Carla Nelson, (R) Rochester.

"My first reaction was, oh my god, this is a massive, massive proposal, and a massive tax increase," said Senator David Senjem, (R) Rochester.

Both Republican Senators David Senjem and Carla Nelson's first thoughts were, the proposed tax increases are too high. However, in an effort to bring more money back into the state, Governor Dayton says it's what's best "For those who claim the spending is too high, I challenge you to say exactly where more cuts can be made," said Governor Dayton.

A big talker was Governor Dayton's plan to add a clothing sales tax to items more than $100, but he says it would help to lower the overall sales tax rate in Minnesota from 6.8% to 5.5%.

"Businesses would join consumers in paying the new lowest tax rate on broader base of taxed goods and services," said Governor Dayton.

Though some think that's not the way to go. They're worried it'll push consumers and even businesses away. "For the sake of Minnesotans, we hope there’s some great change in the governor's budget proposal because I think it's a job killer," said Sen. Nelson.

"I think it'll make us less job competitive," said Sen. Senjem.

Also in the proposal, married couples making $250,000 and singles making over $150,000 would see a tax increase. Dayton’s hope is that this would distribute the wealth.

"It's all themed on taxing the rich, but it all spills down to the less rich," said Sen. Senjem.

Though not every issue was divided by party lines, "Lowering the corporate income tax, as I said, we are already one of the highest taxed states already. It’s good to lower that," said Sen. Nelson.

 "There's something for everyone, but there’s also some takeaways from everyone as well," said Sen Senjem.

Lawmakers met with Governor Dayton Tuesday night to discuss that proposed budget, but it was a closed meeting.