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Budget forecast could fuel debate on taxes

Date Published: 05/01/2009


Budget forecast could fuel debate on taxes

Tuesday marks a day many lawmakers have been dreading -- the release of the state's updated economic forecast.

Gov. Tim Pawlenty has indicated that forecast could show the state's budget deficit has swelled from $4.8 billion to $7 billion. Wary that the grim update might spur Democrats to push for tax increases, Senate Minority Leader Dave Senjem is urging against that option.

In an e-mail to the Post-Bulletin, the Rochester Republican writes that "we must understand that this is a very difficult time to be raising taxes." He points to the number of area layoffs and increased consumer costs as reasons to avoid a tax increase. He added, "Minnesota families are already paying significant tax bills."

Pawlenty has already said he is opposed to any tax increases to balance the budget. But some Democrats have argued that a tax increase may be necessary to avoid devastating budget cuts.

One thing is for sure, the debate on taxes will likely be heating up in St. Paul.

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