Minn. Gov Backs Off Tax Increases

Tuesday, 01 Mar 2011 02:05 PM

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Minnesota’s Democrat Gov. Mark Dayton backed off of tax increases Monday to balance the state’s budget as Republicans promised to seek cuts in spending, thePioneer Press reported Tuesday.

Mark Dayton
Gov. Mark Dayton
A new forecast reduced the state’s deficit over the next two years by more than $1 billion. That prompted Dayton to pull a proposed tax surcharge on the state’s wealthiest individuals.

“It's a good, better number today, but it really doesn't change the problem,'' Senate Majority Leader Amy Koch, a Buffalo Republican, told the newspaper.

Republicans have pushed Dayton to cut spending. He has proposed cutting $200 million from health care programs.
After the announcement Monday, Dayton said he plans to restore cuts made to fire safety training and to put $5 million toward economic development programs.

Republicans said more cuts are needed to solve the state’s fiscal problems without increasing taxes, which drives away business and jobs.

"While it's better, it's going in the right direction as well, it's still a concern,'' Koch said.

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