Governor Walz proposes 2-year budget, Republicans call it a “miss”

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(ABC 6 News) – Minnesota Governor Tim Walz announced Tuesday a 2-year budget proposal totaling in around $65 billion, saying it includes the largest tax cut in state history.

Republicans calling the budget “a miss” — pointing to around $2.8 billion in tax increases. For example, Walz is proposing a 1.5% surcharge on capital gains.

“People can make good decisions for themselves, and a portion of this surplus needs to get back into their hands,” Walz said in a press conference announcing the budget.

Also in the proposed budget, $4 billion would go directly back to Minnesotans in the form of checks:

Single people making $75,000 a year or less would get $1,000. Joint filers making $150,000 or less would get $2,000, with up to $600 for dependents.

RELATED: Walz proposes tax credit checks for 2.5M Minnesota families

People making more than these amounts won’t get a check.

Another $219 million would go to social security income tax reductions.

This comes as a disappointment for Republicans and some DFLers, who got close to passing a total elimination bill last session.

“To add salt to the wound, they don’t eliminate the double taxation on social security benefits,” said Sen. Carla Nelson (R – Rochester).

The Minnesota AARP released a statement commending the governor for supporting older adults and caregivers. But added that they’re disappointed he didn’t propose total elimination.

AARP Minnesota commends Governor Walz on the proposed One Minnesota budget that includes measures that will support older adults and their family caregivers to address our state’s rapidly aging demographic. However, AARP is disappointed the Governor’s budget doesn’t provide more Social Security tax relief for Minnesota retirees.  

Walz is using the $17.6 billion surplus and DFL controlled state legislature to direct millions to government assistance programs. Along with many other health, public safety, economic, and education proposals, he proposes nearly a billion dollars to go toward homelessness prevention.

Something volunteers here on the ground say — Southeast Minnesota really needs.

“Ending homelessness is a phrase that is never going to be a reality. I think that we have seen our state take some significant strides in the right direction with the funding that’s coming out,” said Dan Fifield, founder of The Landing MN, a day center in Rochester.