Over the weekend, the Governor vetoed HF 885, a bill would increase income taxes on the highest-income earners, increase alcohol taxes, and create a new surtax on earnings from excess interest to help maintain adequate funding schools, nursing homes and hospitals.
The Governor has been consistent in his position against tax increases, but poll results indicate that Minnesotans are more interested in a balanced approach to resolving the state’s budget shortfall. A recent Star Tribune poll found that half of respondents supported using tax increases and spending cuts to balance the budget, while only 40 percent thought the budget should be balanced through spending cuts alone.
The particular tax proposals contained in HF 885 are supported by the public. The poll found that 70 percent thought increases in alcohol taxes were acceptable, and Star Tribune also reports there was “strong support” for income tax increases on high-income Minnesotans.
Similarly, public support for the budget areas funded in HF 885 was strong; “three-quarters of respondents opposed cuts to K-12 spending or health care assistance for the low-income and elderly,” reports the Star Tribune. We have seen other polling results consistent with the Star Tribune findings.
It’s not clear what the next steps are in getting to a balanced budget. The Invest in Minnesota Campaign is holding a rally today at the capitol at noon to demonstrate support for a balanced approach to the budget shortfall.