St. Paul, Minn. – Senator Erik Simonson (DFL-Duluth) on Thursday voted against the Senate Republican tax plan (Senate File 3982), which won approval on a party-line vote. The plan, released earlier this week for the first time, received little to no public discussion before Republicans scheduled the bill for a full Senate vote, depriving Minnesotans of the opportunity to read the plan and comment on it.
The Senate Republican plan includes a risky proposal to set income tax cuts for all wage earners on auto-pilot in years that a budget surplus is forecast. Doing so would tie future Legislatures’ hands as they manage the state’s finances through times of recession and economic downturn, likely resulting in cuts to education, health care, and economic development that help middle-class families thrive. Minnesota experienced structural deficits for much of the first decade of the century due to short-sighted tax cuts, much like the ones Senate Republicans are pushing this year.
“Senate Republicans kept the public in the dark on their tax plan for months, and now we know why: it puts millionaires first and middle-class Minnesotans last, and it puts our state on the path to structural budget deficits in the future,” said Sen. Simonson. “I have worked very hard during my time in the Legislature to restore fiscal stability to our budget and integrity to our legislative process. The Senate Republican tax plan takes our state backwards into the Pawlenty years when fiscal mismanagement ran wild and deficits were the norm. It does not have my support in its current form.”
The public now has two short weeks to learn about and comment on the proposed overhaul to the state tax code before the Legislature must complete its work by a May 21 constitutional deadline.