As a budget deadline looms in Minnesota, Americans for Tax Reform (ATR) applauded legislative Republicans today for their leadership in opposing Gov. Mark Dayton’s proposed billions of dollars in tax increases and urged the legislature to stand strong. While Republicans have passed a balanced budget that cuts spending and holds the line on taxes, Gov. Dayton is determined to spend more than the state collects, financed by a massive tax increase.

As pressure builds on Republicans to submit to Dayton’s tax hiking predilections, ATR urges them to follow the lead of Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives. Speaker John Boehner and his caucus have stood in lockstep as a barrier against President Obama’s plans for massive tax increases to “solve the debt and deficit crisis.” This is a fallacy. Until taxes are taken off the table, sustainable spending cuts are not achievable.

As Dayton’s income tax increase has been soundly rejected by the legislature and the voting public, more politically expedient tax hikes will undoubtedly be proposed. Most likely are lifestyle taxes, which target alcohol, tobacco and sugary drinks. Democrats use a number of gimmicks to push these social engineering tax increases, including calling them “impact fees,” “revenue enhancements,” or anything else that tries to distract from the fact that they are nothing more than painful tax increases in the middle of a tenuous economic recovery.

ATR urges Senate Majority Leader Amy Koch, Assembly Speaker Kurt Zellers and all members of the majority to see through these gimmicks and stand up to liberal Gov. Dayton.

“I applaud Republicans in the Minnesota Legislature for fiercely opposing Gov. Dayton’s tax hike obsession,” said ATR President Grover Norquist, “but the battle is not yet over. As the Democrats ramp up their doom and gloom government shutdown rhetoric, I urge you to stand tall on behalf of your constituents.”

“Republicans have already passed nine budget bills this year. Any blame for an impasse lays at the feet of Gov. Dayton, who would rather shut the government down than sign a budget that cuts spending without raising taxes nearly $2 billion,” Norquist continued. “A protracted standoff between liberal California Gov. Jerry Brown and legislative Republicans recently ended with a budget free of tax increases and a victory for taxpayers. With the leadership of Leader Koch and Speaker Zellers, I am confident we will celebrate the same outcome in Minnesota.