Minnesota Legislature Acts on Tax, Education Bills
ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — After debating for hours about who stands to gain the most, Minnesota House lawmakers have voted largely along party lines for a tax cut that aims for more than $2 billion in breaks soon and double that down the road.
The GOP-led House passed it on a 74-58 vote Wednesday. It contains an array of income tax credits and exemptions. It would also add more protections against the estate tax and gradual but expensive end to a state property tax assessed on businesses.
One feature is a $1,000 personal and dependent exemption on state tax forms, which would exist for two years and then expire.
Democratic Governor Mark Dayton and leaders of the Democratic-led Senate argue it cuts taxes too steeply and would leave Minnesota at risk of future deficits.
Also Wednesday, the Minnesota Senate approved bill that would send an extra $365 million to schools.
The DFL-controlled Senate's plan is closer to the Republican-led House than Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton. The governor has dismissed the House and Senate plans for not directing more of Minnesota's projected $1.9 billion surplus to education.
All three groups want to bolster early learning opportunities to address racial and economic achievement gaps. The disagreement is over how much to spend and how to do it.
Dayton wants to spend hundreds of millions to offer free preschool statewide. The House and Senate would spend far less and target existing early education programs.