Gov. Tim Walz scales back proposed tax increases, boosts tax relief
March 19, 2021
Gov. Tim Walz is dramatically scaling back proposed tax increases and boosting tax relief in his state spending proposal, responding to a state economy that is on the mend more than a year into the COVID-19 pandemic.
In a revised two-year budget plan released Thursday, Walz cut back nearly $1 billion in tax increases he'd previously proposed for cigarettes, large estates and corporations. But he's still calling for a new fifth-tier income tax increase on the state's highest earners. At the same time, he wants to boost tax relief to nearly $1 billion, calling for expanded tax cuts for working families, renters and some businesses and unemployed workers who received federal aid during the pandemic.
"We know that our students, working families, and small businesses have borne the brunt of this pandemic," Walz said in a statement from quarantine after exposure to a staffer on Monday who tested positive for the virus. "That is why, with the recent good news that Minnesota now projects a positive budget balance, we're recommending additional investments to support working families, ensure students catch up on learning, and help small businesses stay afloat while driving economic recovery."