Tax deal won’t be easy to figure

House and Senate Republicans came to an agreement on their separate versions of a state tax overhaul over the weekend. But before it can become law it has to get Gov. Mark Dayton’s signature, and that will require more negotiations.

These days it is never just about the tax bill, or the education spending bill, or the bonding bill. They are all tied up together as the end of the session nears, and the dealmakers will be trying to gain a gain in this bill in exchange for a concession on that bill. Dayton, for example, is eager for a one-time funding boost of $138 million in emergency school aid, to help districts having trouble with projected deficits. We’re sure any other issues legislators want to get passed on will have to involve some kind of concession on education.

Dayton also has his own ideas about where to target tax reform. His original tax proposal would have raised taxes on business to focus more tax relief on faamilies.

Republicans and business organizations point out that Minnesota’s corporate income tax rate is 9.8 percent third highest in the nation. Other taxes, like the statewide property tax on business, is a rarity across the country and puts us at a competitive disadvantage. We mentioned last week Seattle’s per capita business tax proposal that “bites the hand that feeds it.” State taxes have been taking chunks out of business for a long time.

The task of making taxes less onerous for individuals and families is a thorny one. As the session winds down, Republican legislators need to stand up for overburdened businesses as well as the individual taxpayer.

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