Governor, Thissen, Bakk reach agreement on Minnesota budget

This will be a big political week in Minnesota. While the marriage equality debate rolls to an historic conclusion Monday, leaders of the state House and Senate have announced that they and Gov. Mark Dayton have reached the framework of a budget agreement. Specific measures that would affect people living in northern Minnesota’s Iron Range region are yet to be determined.

From MPR’s Tim Pugmire:

Gov. Mark Dayton and DFL legislative leaders have agreed on a tax and spending framework that raises income taxes on top earners, expands the sales tax to some yet to be determined “non-consumer services,” raises the cigarette tax and pays back the money owed to schools from earlier budget deals through a temporary income tax surcharge.

It also erases a $627 million budget deficit, boosts funding for public education by $725 million and provides $400 million in property tax relief.

Some specifics are still being worked out. Crucial to the Iron Range are provisions related to minerals taxes that would help local schools and reduce Range property taxes. Those will be on the table in the conference committees, where Senate Majority Leader Tom Bakk (DFL-Cook) and Rep. Tom Anzelc (DFL-Balsam Township) will have some say.

It’s not hard to imagine the legislature wrapping up its business sooner than later.

DISCLOSURE: Anzelc is a friend and I serve as his campaign manager.

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