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Local legislator comments on proposed $1.7 billion tax increase for wealthiest Minnesotans and most profitable companies

Republicans have balked at Governor Tim Walz’s call for an approximate $1.7 billion income tax increase on the wealthiest Minnesotans and most-profitable companies, so they pay what Walz terms their fair share.  KAUS News spoke with State District 27A Representative Peggy Bennett, a Republican from Albert Lea who stated that about two-thirds of tax increases in the governor’s plan, in her view, will disproportionately hit low-income Minnesotans — especially the dollar-a-pack cigarette tax increase, and she added that the tax increase could also boost Minnesota into the top five states in the nation concerning highest taxed states for income and business taxes…

Bennett went on to state that state government should be tightening its belt in this time of fiscal uncertainty due to COVID-19…

Governor Walz is calling for 1.3 billion dollars in what he calls “new investments” — including a 3.5 percent increase in funding for K-12 education over two years, 50 million dollars in forgivable loans to struggling businesses, and expanding the Working Family Tax Credit for over 300-thousand households.

Senate Republican Majority Leader Paul Gazelka has indicated that the state cannot balance the budget with tax increases.  He went on to say that the state’s “rainy day” budget reserve can be used to protect people from hurtful tax increases that will, in his view, further stretch their family budgets and harm Minnesota’s economy.

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