Sviggum: The lunch bucket tax cut.Sviggum and other Republican leaders announced their new tax plan with the bluest-collar symbols they could think of.
Sviggum: When people get up in the morning, and they go to work, they have certain things in their lunch buckets. They got the sandwich. The bread and the butter. The bread-and-butter tax cut of the Republican plan is going to be a tax cut - a half, three quarter, and a half. Another income tax reduction that the citizens of the state of Minnesota, that the working people of Minnesota, the moms and dads, ought to expect.Sviggum proposes cutting the tax rate on the lowest and highest income brackets by a half-percentage point, and three-quarters of a point on the middle bracket. For a married couple filing jointly, the "middle bracket" is defined as taxable income between about $26,000 and $102,000. Under the Republican plan, a family with two kids with an adjusted gross income of $50,000 would save about 10 percent on its state income tax bill.
Pawlenty: He has indicated that he likes most aspects of this plan. Now, we're going to disagree over the size of it, but as to the contents of it, the concepts included in it, he has reacted at least on a preliminary basis favorably. So we're not trying to project any kind of discord with the governor, I think actually we're going to be more in harmony with him on these issues than we were last year.
"You're taking all the resources off the table, there will be nothing there for education, nothing for investing in telecommunications, nothing for health care."
- Roger Moe
Moe: Last year we reduced income taxes, based on the previous year, over 18 percent, and I think it's reckless, very reckless, to get into that stage, because, again, you're taking all the resources off the table, there will be nothing there for education, nothing for investing in telecommunications, nothing for health care.Moe has seen himself in the last few years as the only brake on what he considers Republican tax-cutting excesses. That role has become harder as state budget surpluses continue to pile up even after a succession of tax cuts. Moe's traditional argument has been that cutting taxes too deeply during the good times will set up a disastrous deficits as soon as the economy cools down. But Republicans, such as House Tax Committee Chairman Ron Abrams say after 15 consecutive budget surplus predictions, that argument no longer works.
Abrams: Fool me 15 times, shame on you. Fool me 16 times, shame on me.The total value of the Republican tax cut proposal for the first two years is $1.35 billion, which includes a $500 million tax rebate later this year and reductions in property tax rates for commercial property, apartments and farm land. Republicans have yet to spell out the details on many of those tax cuts.