This week DFLer Mark Dayton distributes 100 hockey pucks to show us his budget priorities in our Almanac “Budget Slap Shot.” As a former college hockey player, hockey dad and hockey coach Dayton dove right into placing the pucks in all the major budget categories. Even though he has put great emphasis on education, his spending on K-12 and higher ed combined comes in the middle of the pack compared to other candidates at 43%. Health and human services received 27%. Transportation led the pack at 10% since he followed our suggestion to consider “all funds” of the budget including dedicated taxes. Local government aids followed at 8%. Public safety got 4%, bonding debt 3%, state government 2%. Environment, economic development and agriculture/vets all came in at 1%.
But of course the revealing part of this budget exercise is when we surprise the candidates by forcing them to deal with a 10% budget shortfall. They can cut, reform and/or dip into our “Revenue Bucket” and revenue is where Dayton found all of his funds. As expected, most of the money came from income taxes at 7% through Dayton’s plan to “tax the rich.” 2% came from closing corporate tax loopholes. The final 1% is from federal bonding for transportation projects.