Preview: Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton's State of the State Address
Gov. Mark Dayton is scheduled to deliver his State of the State address at 7 p.m. Wednesday in the House Chamber.
Gov. Mark Dayton will give his State of the State address Wednesday from the House Chambers at the State Capitol in St. Paul.
Dayton is not expected to make any new announcements on Wednesday night, but rather take the opportunity to promote his budget proposal and tax overhaul, the Pioneer Press reports.
The governor says his biennial budget proposal will eliminate the state’s $1.1 billion budget deficit and balance government spending and revenue over the next two fiscal years while putting an end to the “fiscal games” and “accounting gimmicks” of the last decade.
Dayton’s proposals include cutting the sales tax rate from 6.875 percent to 5.5 percent, while broadening the tax to many goods and services that are currently exempt.
He also seeks to create a new income tax bracket on the wealthiest 2 percent of Minnesotans, while providing a rebate for the first $500 of property taxes paid going forward from 2013.
Some of the governor’s other proposals include: reducing the corporate tax rate from 9.8 percent to 8.4 percent; raising the cigarette tax 94 cents per pack; extending the sales tax to clothing costing more than $100; increasing local government aid $80 million a year and county program aid $40 million per year; and increasing funding for special education by $125 million.
The governor’s plan has not been well-received by Minnesota GOPers.
Rep. Andrea Kieffer, a Republican in her second term at the Legislature, said Gov. Mark Dayton’s budget “increases taxes all over the place.”
“That’s not a big surprise,” she told Patch, adding later that the new phrase among GOP legislators is: “A better budget for Wisconsin.”
Rep. Kathy Lohmer (R-Stillwater) agreed, and took it one step further.
“This proposal is really bad for business, Minnesota jobs and the middle class,” Lohmer told Patch.
“The governor’s budget proposal raises taxes on all Minnesotans,” Sen. Karin Housley (R-St. Mary's Point) told Stillwater Patch last month.“Everyone—not just the rich—will pay more to grow government.”
Minnesotans will feel the burden of new taxes on auto services, over-the-counter drugs, health club memberships and clothing items priced over $100, Housley said.
The State of the State address begins at 7 p.m. Wednesday. Check back to watch a live feed of the governor's speech.