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Anti-tax group attacks Gov. Dayton plan to increase transit tax by a half-cent

The MN Jobs Coalition says it will hurt the middle class.

The MN Jobs Coalition is attacking Gov. Mark Dayton’s new proposal to raise a metro transit sales tax by a half-cent.

The governor originally wanted to raise the tax, for light rail and rapid bus routes, by a quarter-cent in the metro area. That would have brought in $250 million a year, which many, but not all, county officials and the Metropolitan Council supported.

But when the governor revised his budget Thursday and eliminated his plan to broaden the sales tax by including services, it meant the amount that would be raised with the transit plan dropped to $110 million a year.

So the governor raised the proposed transit sales tax increase to a half-cent, to make up the difference, the Star Tribune reports.

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The paper says under the governor’s new plan, Hennepin, Ramsey, Anoka, Washington and Dakota counties, which already have a quarter-cent sales tax for transit development, would see their tax go up to three-quarters of a cent; Carver and Scott counties, which don’t have the transit tax now, would pay the half-cent.

So the MN Jobs Coalition, which says it is a “state independent expenditure political committee that is dedicated to policies that lead to job creation,” went after the governor, saying the change will hurt the middle class.

Said Ben Golnik, chairman of the Minnesota Jobs Coalition, in a statement:

“While campaigning for governor, Mark Dayton promised that he would only raise taxes on the rich, but once again Dayton is trying to force the middle class to pay more.  Forcing the middle class to pay more just proves that Mark Dayton is out of touch with what’s happening in Minnesota.”