The Minnesota House is taking up a package of DFL-backed tax increases Wednesday that will erase a projected $627 million deficit and pay for new spending.
Under the House tax bill, income taxes would increase for the state's top earners. There's also a temporary income tax surcharge on those earning more than $500,000 to pay off the money owed to school districts. The bill also includes increases in the taxes on cigarettes and alcohol.
DFL House Speaker Paul Thissen of Minneapolis said the bill delivers on the investments Democrats promised for public education and other priorities.
"It is asking Minnesotans to participate in making these investments that truly is going to make a stronger middle class for this state and is going to set our state on a path toward prosperity and competitiveness in a global society," Thissen said.
But Republicans contend the tax bill will impact all Minnesotans, not just the rich. GOP Rep. Greg Davids of Preston said the cigarette and alcohol increases will disproportionately hit the poor.