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Dayton: Tax veto not connected to stadium vote

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news Willmar, 56201
West Central Tribune
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ST. PAUL - Gov. Mark Dayton said his veto today of a Republican-proposed tax bill should not affect a Vikings stadium construction plan.

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"I don't think it should be related in any way," he said. "I hope that legislators will separate the issues."

Dayton said he has made it clear he does not want the stadium tied to any other issues or involved in a session-ending deal.

His office received the tax bill Thursday night after the House and Senate passed it this week. He said he vetoed it quickly because he "wanted to get it out of the way so it could not be used as a negotiation tactic" for a stadium or public works borrowing bill.

The House plans to take up the stadium proposal Monday.

Among other provisions, the vetoed bill would have provided tax cuts, mainly for businesses.

Dayton said any new spending or tax reductions had to avoid increasing future state deficits, but the plan he vetoed would use the budget reserves to pay for a business property tax freeze and other tax breaks.

The Democratic governor said his office responded to the Republican-written tax plan with a counterproposal but did not get a response before the House and Senate voted.

Homeowners have "been hit just as hard, if not worse" than businesses when it comes to tax hikes, Dayton said. He said the relief should be more balanced.

He said there are some parts of the bill he does like and is willing to discuss a compromise.

Danielle Nordine reports for Forum Communications Co.

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