Republicans cold on Dayton's latest budget offer

Published On: Jul 06 2011 04:10:20 PM CDT

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) -- Gov. Mark Dayton and top Republicans met again Wednesday without meaningful progress toward resolving the budget dispute that has shut down state government.

House Speaker Kurt Zellers and Senate Majority Leader Amy Koch say the negotiations went backwards when Dayton made an offer for either an income tax increase for top earners or a cigarette tax increase. They say they're not interested in raising taxes.

The Democratic governor says the legislators are the ones who took a step backward. He says it's now up to them to make a counteroffer.

Dayton says he would prefer to raise top-tier income taxes, but a cigarette tax increase known as the "health impact fee" helped end the state's last government shutdown in 2005.

He says the two sides remain $1.4 billion apart.