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Budget, Tax Reform Tops Bakk's Agenda

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The Minnesota State Capital is seen in Saint Paul
The Minnesota State Capital is seen in Saint Paul

Duluth, MN (KDAL) - Incoming state Senate Majority Leader Tom Bakk will have a lot on his plate when he takes the helm for the 2013-2014 legislative biennium. But the District 6 senator -- which includes the Arrowhead -- said no priority outweighs the budget in a budget year. Bakk says tackling the nearly $3 billion deficit will take some creative work, beginning with a realignment of state revenues. He said revenue should be generated almost equally from sales tax, property tax and income tax, but that in the past 10 years, sales tax money represents just more than 20 percent of revenue and property tax more than 40. He said bringing those numbers closer to 30 percent will help balance the budget. Bakk also said the governor could get a bill on his desk from his wish-list this session that would increase income taxes on the richest two percent of Minnesotans. Bakk told KDAL part of that tax reform would ideally do away with property tax levies to fund school districts, a system which he sees as unfair to districts in rural areas with very little property tax generation.

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