DFL Rep. Ryan Winkler isn't fan of huge tax cut sailing through House

ryan winkler rect.jpg
Winkler authored a bill that would raise the state minimum wage to $9.50.
Days after the Minnesota Management and Budget office projected a $1.23 billion surplus for the current biennium, the state House might vote as soon as today on a $500 million package of tax cuts and repeals.

THE BACKSTORY: Mark Dayton doesn't take credit for Minnesota's $1.2 billion surplus... sort of

Cutting taxes while the economy is humming along is obviously a politically shrewd move, and Rep. Ryan Winkler, D-Golden Valley, expects the bill to pass with broad bipartisan support. But as Winkler explained to us, he doesn't believe what's in the best interests of the DFL in terms of the 2014 election cycle is necessarily in the best interests of the state.

"I would not prioritize tax cuts," Winkler told us. "I think we should be reserving more money for future budget problems and we should make investments to reduce tuition, fund early education, and to make up some of the ways we've shorted health care providers."

"The care providers who are taking care of senior citizens and disabled people are living on poverty wages," he continued. "There are many things that are higher priorities for me than the tax cuts on the table this year."

Winkler isn't opposed to tax cuts in general, however. He mentioned controversial business-to-business taxes approved last year as one area in which he believes "some work is in order, though I'm not sure repealing the whole thing is necessary."

"I'm planning to vote against the House bill today," Winkler said. "But I think it will pass with broad support from Republicans and Democrats."

Ultimately, Winkler would like his fellow legislators to adopt an approach more focused on the long-term health of the state and less on immediate political considerations.

"This is my eighth session, and the first where we've had a real opportunity to make investments we haven't made in a long time," Winkler said. "It doesn't seem to be the right thing to jump right into tax-cutting mode, especially since tax cuts are what got us into the deficit debacle we've gotten into the last decade."

In a development that reflects the division within the DFL about taxes, at roughly the same time we were speaking to Winkler, Gov. Mark Dayton's office distributed a press release with this title: "Governor Dayton Proposes $616 Million in Tax Cuts for Middle Class Minnesotans."

"Minnesota's economy has added 133,000 new jobs during the last three years. Our improving economy has greatly improved the state's budget forecast -- giving us the opportunity to put more money in the pockets of Minnesota families and businesses," Dayton says in the statement. "I urge members from both parties to work together to pass these tax cuts quickly."

-- Follow Aaron Rupar on Twitter at @atrupar. Got a tip? Drop him a line at arupar@citypages.com.

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28 comments
bethann.bloom
bethann.bloom

Good to see members of the legislature taking the long view allowing for budget reserves, maintenance of our infrastructure, and fair wages for direct care providers!

Kirk Burback
Kirk Burback

Democrats: Much like the schoolyard bully that punches you in the nose, but then offering to help you up off the ground after the fact. Winkler does not even have to decency to help you off the ground.

SosMpls
SosMpls

Imagine that, a Democrat who doesn't want to give back the money they over charged the tax payers. And, all the liberal 48%ers who don't pay taxes are fine with it.

Stop wasting our money and give us a real reduction on our obscene property taxes!

henk.tobias0
henk.tobias0 topcommenter

Finally, someone with some sense. Our infrastructure is falling apart. Who can forget the bridge that fell under Pawlenty's watch. Actually it was Carol Molnau who dropped the ball on that one, but Timmy appointed her. She should have stuck with Keg tossing contests. Years of Republican "leadership" has left the state in dire need of repair. We should be putting things back together rather than handing out tax cuts. It'll help the economy to boot.

Bob B Bopp
Bob B Bopp

Right. It's better hand it over to the Pentagon because we're afraid of some desert dictator.

scottyp43
scottyp43

Does the government spend every penny they take in. Do they really open savings account and save. Never heard of them doing that. They always spend spend spend.

Shayne O'Neil
Shayne O'Neil

Shocking .... A democrat in favor of theft from the citizenry ?

Daren L. MN
Daren L. MN

Not a huge fan of Democrats & Republicans murdering people worldwide to get fossil fuels. #whowatchesthewatchmen

mingtran
mingtran topcommenter

Why would he be? That's where he steals from.

TruDat
TruDat

@henk.tobias0

Yeah, those darn Republicans, shoving a new Vikings Stadium down our throats, and now a new 90 million dollar monument to some state senators. Oh, wait, that wasn't the Republicans, was it?

mingtran
mingtran topcommenter

@scottyp43  research fractional reserve banking, you will learn much

henk.tobias0
henk.tobias0 topcommenter

Typical, a Conservative who doesn't want to pay his bills.

henk.tobias0
henk.tobias0 topcommenter

You need to do a little research. It was the Repugs pushing the stadium.

mingtran
mingtran topcommenter

@henk.tobias0  normal people  should hate boondoggle projects. Trains lines that are horribly inefficient are boondoggle projects. Wingnuts support boondoggle projects, not normal people. You are a wingnut because you support boondogle projects. Get it? You're a dork.

henk.tobias0
henk.tobias0 topcommenter

Can't wait to catch the trolley. Why do wingnuts hate trains? Is it childhood trauma or something? Santa gave you a lump of coal not the trainset? Is that it?

mingtran
mingtran topcommenter

@henk.tobias0  YES! Throw more money at it and it will go away. Just like before...and the last time...and  time before that...or wait...that never worked. You dorks are boring, come up with a new schtick all ready

henk.tobias0
henk.tobias0 topcommenter

This is complex, I know, but roads, bridges(those that don't fall) schools, police. Fire, courts, jails...all these things cost money (bills). I assume you're a patriotic American and want to pay your share, maybe not eh? Calling it theft resolves you of your responsibility doesn't it. That's your point, freeloader is aha you and your ilk Are.

mingtran
mingtran topcommenter

@henk.tobias0  the smartest most innovative people in the world were/are libertarian socialists. I don't suppose a mouth-breathing Obama fan-boy can see past TMZ though.

henk.tobias0
henk.tobias0 topcommenter

He's not too bright I take it.

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