Governor Mark Dayton on Thursday morning followed through on his promise to veto a new tax conformity bill after issuing an ultimatum that the bill had to include 138-million dollars in emergency funding for education.
House Representative Clark Johnson (D-North Mankato) says he understands the situation.
“We gotta do the tax conformity, everybody knows that. So, that moves us towards responsible action,” said Johnson. “But I think the Governor is making a very fair request. We’re having schools laying off teachers and that means larger class sizes and fewer opportunities for kids. That’s never good for Minnesota. So, I think addressing that as part of the tax compromise seem very reasonable, it seems very doable to me.”
Without emergency funding, 59 Minnesota schools will face immediate budget deficits in the coming year, which includes the St. James School District.
“St. James does not have a really large property tax base to adjust their funding locally. The houses aren’t that valuable, there’s just not much to work with. Yet it is a school that has, for years, really worked hard to improve graduation rates for all their students, particularly the Latino students. We don’t want to fail those kids and those kids are really the future of our region.”
If the Legislature fails to address federal tax conformity this session, Minnesota faces a 60-million dollar increase in state income taxes for more than 300-thousand families and a complicated filing process next year.