Gov. Dayton vetoes GOP tax-cut bill

Published 11:00 am Friday, May 4, 2012

Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton has vetoed the Republican-controlled Minnesota Legislature’s tax-cutting formula for creating jobs.

The GOP bill would have cut taxes by nearly $200 million over the next three years and, in the words of Senate Taxes Committee Chair Julianne Ortman, R-Chanhassen, spark an “immediate surge of economic activity” that would generate more jobs than the Minnesota Vikings stadium bill or a public works bonding bill.

The Senate passed the bill Thursday, May 3, on a 41-25 vote, largely along party lines. The House approved it 73-57 Monday with two Democratic-Farmer-Labor votes.

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Dayton has said he opposes it because it would create bigger budget shortfalls in the future. The state is facing a projected $1.1 billion deficit in the next two-year budget cycle, and the tax bill would add $145 million more in red ink, which he called “fiscally irresponsible.”

Rep. Jeanne Poppe and Sen. Dan Sparks, both DFL-Austin, mirrored Dayton’s concern. Each had voted against the bill as it was going through Legislature.

“We need to figure out the right balance,” Poppe said. “This certainly isn’t it.”

Sparks said it was important not to go into deficit spending again.

“If you start looking at the ongoing costs that would be associated, they would be pretty large going forward,” he said.

Rep. Rich Murray, R-Albert Lea, disagreed. He said before Dayton’s veto it was important the governor sign the bill so that Austin’s local government aid doesn’t take another hit in the coming fiscal year.

“The governor needs to take a good hard look at this and see how to make this work,” Murray said before the veto. Dayton was nearly on board with the bill a week ago, and the bill has toned down since then, Murray said. He added he was in contact with mayors and councilmen from around the Austin/Albert Lea area to spread this message.

—McClatchy-Tribune Information Services contributed to this report.