New tax bill emerges in conference committee

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Fresh off a gubernatorial veto of the omnibus tax bill, HF2337*/ SF1972, the House Taxes Committee chairman said that when it comes to trying to improve the state’s tax climate, “We’re never going to quit.”

Rep. Greg Davids (R-Preston), who sponsors the bill with Sen. Julianne Ortman (R-Chanhassen) urged Gov. Mark Dayton to sign HF247*/ SF872, a stripped-down version of the previous tax bill. A House conference committee reviewed the new bill this morning and it awaits action by both bodies, possibly yet today.

Dayton’s primary objection to the previous bill was the long-term cost of the bill’s proposed credits. It would have cost the state more than $145 million in the out-years.

The General Fund impact of the new bill would be $18.4 million over the 2012-2013 fiscal biennium. The financial hole is expected to be filled by cost savings achieved in other bills passed this session.

The cornerstone to the previous tax bill was a freeze on the state property tax levy paid by business property and seasonal property owners. That would have cost the General Fund $71.8 million in the 2014-2015 biennium. The new bill provides for a one-year levy freeze that would be about half that cost to the general fund. (See the spreadsheet.)

The bill lays out several initiatives, including a Veterans Jobs Credit, modifications to the research and development tax credit and a provision that Davids said would help provide more money for student loans.

He said this bill will ride in tandem with HF2690, passed by the Senate yesterday and expected to be considered by the House today. This bill contains several technical language provisions needed to support proposals in the new omnibus tax bill.