A bill that would adjust state tax law to match the federal tax changes Congress made at the end of 2012 is headed to Governor Dayton.
The Minnesota House passed the so-called tax conformity measure today 109-19.
The bill continues tax deductions for teacher expense, mortgage insurance premiums and college tuition. Several Republicans complained that the bill also removed a requirement that citizens sit on the Iron Range Resources Rehabilitation Board.
Rep. Sarah Anderson, R-Plymouth says she's disappointed the House is accepting Senate language that would remove citizen input on a board with a $30 million annual budget.
"The good old boy's club is back," Anderson said. "We are going to see the Iron Range and their delegation, since Senator Bakk is the Majority Leader in the Senate, do this time and time again to us."
Several members of the Iron Range delegation say there will still be accountability because elected officials will continue to sit on the board.
Rep. Carly Melin, DFL-Hibbing, says the citizens on the board were political appointees who answered to no one.
"I think it's bad public policy to have members who have no accountability through the electoral voters to the voters when they're making decisions on how we spend local property tax dollars," Melin said. "I also think it's bad public policy have our non-elected members be appointed based on their political affiliation."
The House and Senate worked quickly to pass the bill to clear the way for tax filing season.
A spokeswoman for Gov. Dayton says Dayton is expected to sign the bill.
I think it is worth noting that several House members from the iron range voted against the bill, including Rep. Melin.
My understanding is that the reason Rep. Melin voted against the bill was because she had a better bill to address her concerns about the citizens being removed from this committee.