Finalizing Minnesota's tax bill; what's in and what's not?

11:26 AM, May 18, 2013   |    comments
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ST. PAUL, Minn. -- A committee made up of House and Senate members is finalizing one of the most anticipated bills to come out of the legislature this year. The tax bill contains some of the proposals discussed this spring at the Capitol. Others that were discussed at great lengths did not make the cut.

"It's a big bill and there are a lot of technical issues we have to address," MN Revenue Commissioner Myron Frans explained. Frans says a decent portion of what the Governor proposed this winter has survived. "So those four components, the fourth tier, which is more progressive and more fair, closing corporate loopholes, helping Minnesota with a tax on cigarettes, and property tax relief are the main themes he had, and those are in this bill," the commissioner told KARE 11.

If you've been keeping track at home you know lawmakers have discussed more than a dozen proposals to raise revenues. We went through the list with DFL Representative Jim Davnie of Minneapolis. Davnie is on the House Tax Committee.

"The Governor still has cold feet on the gas tax," Rep. Davnie said. Alcohol tax? "Not Happening," he replied. Clothing? "Nope. No sales tax expansion for consumers," he said. Sports Memorabilia? "No, you get to buy your jerseys tax free. And your bobbleheads too," the lawmaker said, easily keeping up with our rapid fire questions.

A business to business tax survived. A proposal to tax businesses on warehousing, electronic repair, and telecommunications will likely be added into the final tax bill.

Overall, the bill is getting mixed reviews, depending on the political party represented. "What we're getting is a Minnesota that's strong and stable and investing in the things that have worked for us before," Rep. Davnie concluded, touting increases in school funding.

"They will have the votes for the largest tax increases in Minnesota history," Rep. Greg Davids, the Republican lead on the House Tax Committee, said. "Huge increases on all Minnesotans, from the poorest of the poor to the richest of the rich, and everyone in between," is how the lawmaker from Preston sees it.

Once the joint conference committee finalizes its report it can't be amended. It'll certainly be debated but it can't be changed before lawmakers in the House and Senate take an up or down vote on it this weekend.

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