A committee in the Minnesota House approved this weekend a bill that would cut income taxes for all Minnesotans, but could also force property tax hikes in cities across the state.
The GOP-backed bill lowers income tax rates on low- and middle-income Minnesotans, cuts the statewide business property tax and expands a tax break for research and development. But the plan pays for those cuts by drastically reducing state aid to cities.
Rep. Ann Lenczewski, DFL-Bloomington, said the decision to phase out local government aid for Minneapolis, St. Paul and Duluth is political — not policy driven.
"I don't think there's anyone denying that Local Government Aid should get cut, but what they did is they really protected certain parts of the state," she said. "They just went after Minneapolis and St. Paul and Duluth as if they don't have needs. I think that's really unfortunate."
Gov. Mark Dayton has criticized the proposal as a giveaway to wealthier Minnesotans. He is proposing an income tax hike on top earners to help balance the state's $5 billion budget deficit.