Commissioner says Dayton hopes to pay back schools and deal with deficit

During next year’s legislative session, the Dayton administration hopes to pay back the schools and deal with a projected deficit, state Revnue Commissioner Myron Frans said Wednesday in Bemidji.

And he said the state’s three-legged tax system — sales, income and property taxes — is out of whack, with property taxes showing a steep increase, reports the Bemidji Pioneer.

Dayton would like to make the system more fair, and has long advocated raising income taxes on the highest earners. The governor also wants to create jobs improving state government efficiency, Frans said.

The governor is focused on addressing the state’s projected deficit and repayment of the school shift that helped balance previous budgets, Frans said.

“We’re not going to raise revenue if we don’t have to,” Frans said.

On state financing, Frans said the governor will prepare his budget and then present a tax-reform system to meet the budget goals.

The governor’s efforts have been thwarted by a Republican-led Legislature the past two sessions, but the November election could change those dynamics. All 201 legislative seats are up this year; Dayton has two more years to go on his first term.

Frans said the state loses about $149 million in taxes annually because many online retailers do not collect sales taxes; the total lost jumps to $400 million when considering e-commerce, catalogs and remote sellers, he said.

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