Republicans push for $1.15 billion in tax relief in budget, Democrats disagree

Republican House and Senate leaders at the state Capitol have agreed on more than a billion dollars in tax relief for the next budget. But the governor may have something to say about that.

The budget numbers Republicans rolled out as final targets includes giving back as tax cuts - $1.15 billion of the $1.5 billion dollar surplus.

“We've had record surpluses for some time now and it's time Minnesotans share in the prosperity they've created for this state,” said Kurt Daudt, Speaker of the Minnesota House of Representatives.

Democrats, however, don't share their excitement

“It's totally, I don't want to use the word ‘fake’ because that's Donald Trump's word, but it's fricking phony, I'm sorry,” said Senator Tom Bakk, DFL Minority Leader.

What Democrats and the Dayton administration say is misleading is the math showing spending increases based on the last budget, which they say, are not adjusted for inflation.

Democrats say education increases are in fact so small it'll hurt schools and transportation funding isn't even close to tackling needed road repairs.

But Republicans are very serious about that billion dollars in tax relief.

“Well there's basically about $46 billion available to spend or give back in taxes and that's the governor. He's got 46 billion available too. It's just that he's spending almost all of it,” said Rep. Jim Knoblach (R), House Ways and Means.

Democrats see this as a sign the next three weeks will be a lot of work.

“I had better hopes than that for today, but I guess I do appreciate they have actually come together and come to some numbers - phony as they may be,” said Bakk.