There should be no surprise that Gov. Mark Dayton's revised budget plan still relies heavily on tax increases for the wealthy. He campaigned successfully on that issue, and he firmly believes it is necessary.
On Thursday, Dayton announced his new plan, which jettisoned the highly unpopular sales tax on business-to-business services but still calls for a new tax bracket that will hit the top two percent of earners. He is also asking for an increase in the tobacco tax, and a tax hike for "snowbirds," people who live outside of Minnesota for up to half a year.
Dayton said he listened to the business community on his sales tax plan. But he's not listening on the tax-the-rich plan. Business leaders have told him it will hit small business owners hard, and will stifle business expansion and job creation. We agree. We've seen state revenues rise as the number of jobs goes up and the economy starts to improve. Why meddle with that at this time?
Dayton's "snowbird" tax won't do much to raise revenues, either. It will simply keep Minnesotans from coming back to Minnesota as much as they'd like to.
We think some efforts to cut spending should be part of Dayton's budget. We don't mind him increasing spending for early childhood and K-12 education, but there should be cuts to accompany increases.