Senate DFLers said the Republican tax bill that was pushed through the Senate today denies tax cuts to more than 540,000 Minnesota taxpayers because they don’t earn enough, while at the same time sending hundreds of millions of dollars in tax breaks each year to the wealthiest Minnesotans.
Senate DFL Leader Melisa López Franzen (DFL-Edina) said the bill, will spend $240 million on tax breaks for Minnesotans who earn more than $250,000 annually, an amount that is eight times more than the Republican budget spends this year on education, she said. The plan also imperils efforts to reward the state’s frontline workers and to ensure future budgets remain balanced. It could ultimately force cuts in things like funding for schools, health care, public safety, and other Minnesota priorities.
“At a time we have an unprecedented surplus and the opportunity to make a difference for every Minnesotan, it is a failure of leadership to spend so much on tax breaks for people at the top of the income scale who are already doing very well,” said Senator López Franzen. “This plan fails our schools, it fails our working families, and it fails our communities. And above all, it’s not what the Republican majority says it is, because does not help everyone. I believe our priorities should reflect the values of helping those who need it most, and addressing the real needs facing working families in our state.”
“Today’s $3.8 billion, one-size-fits all Republican tax bill favors the wealthiest Minnesotans while ignoring the biggest costs average families face,” said Senator Ann Rest (DFL-New Hope) ranking DFL member on the Senate Tax Committee. “Instead of favoring the wealthiest, we should provide tax relief that targets where costs are rising most, like in childcare, housing, and energy. The disregard for future budgets could come back to haunt working families who could see local property tax increases.”
While today’s tax bill is the largest dedicated spending proposal unveiled by Senate Republicans, their budget bills moving through the Finance Committee this week – on areas like Education, Transportation, and Housing – fall woefully short in addressing the needs facing Minnesotans.