Minnesota state government is on the brink of shutting down. Despite months of intense negotiations between the state’s Democratic governor, Mark Dayton, and the Republican controlled legislature, neither party seems prepared to budge from their preferred positions on balancing the budget.
Their positions were staked out in last year’s campaign season and both sides are looking to deliver on their promises. Governor Dayton wants to address the state’s budget shortfall with a combination of sensible spending reductions and increased taxes on Minnesota’s wealthiest households. Republican lawmakers aim to block all tax increases and prefer to slash state spending to damaging levels.
An Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy opinion editorial on the budget predicament explains that the legislature’s approach disproportionately burdens Minnesota’s low- and moderate-income working families. The piece goes on to say that Governor Dayton’s proposed tax increases on the richest two percent of Minnesotans is entirely reasonable. “Asking the wealthiest to pay more simply means that the state will have more revenue to invest in the public structures and services provided now and over the long term.”
Update: The Government of Minnesota is now shutdown.