Posted at: 02/28/2013 9:28 AM
Updated at: 02/28/2013 10:31 PM
Gov. Mark Dayton says Minnesota taxpayers will benefit from a smaller-than-expected budget deficit, but don't expect drastic changes to his tax plan.
State budget officials announced Thursday that lawmakers will need to tackle a $627 million budget deficit for the next biennium. They had previously estimated that shortfall would be $1.1 billion.
The Democratic governor says he wants to issue tax credits to home renters and give businesses a break on sales taxes for equipment purchases. That could eat up as much as half of the unexpected cash.
Dayton's current plan includes decreasing the sales tax rate but taxing expensive clothes, a higher income tax rate on Minnesota's wealthiest and a controversial business-to-business tax. When asked if he would re-consider those ideas, he said nothing is off the table.
Dayton will release his revised budget in the next two weeks.
Republicans said that holding the line on taxes has made the economy improve, and that cutting down on government also helped.
Local lawmakers like Senators Roger Reinert and Dave Tomassoni said they are glad to hear the deficit is smaller, but they must still balance the budget and come up with their own ideas as well based on these new numbers.
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