Senate scales back tax bill, sends to Daytonby Tom Scheck, Minnesota Public Radio
ST. PAUL, Minn. — The Minnesota Senate has given final legislative approval to a tax bill smaller and less expensive than one vetoed earlier by Gov. Mark Dayton. Republican leaders say they hope the governor will sign this one.
The measure includes a one-year freeze on business property taxes. It would also provide tax breaks for research and development, businesses that hire returning veterans and an upfront sales tax exemption for small businesses buying machinery and other capital equipment.
The Senate approved the measure on a 41-24 vote early Thursday morning, after the House passed it Wednesday on a vote of 73-56.
Last week, Dayton vetoed the first GOP tax bill over concerns about its ongoing costs and effect on the state budget. He did not participate in negotiations for the revised bill.
Republican Sen. Julianne Ortman, of Chanhassen, said she thinks the measure will boost hiring in the private sector.
"They need a tax climate in the state of Minnesota that will encourage that investment," she said. "We're making that down payment to say you can invest here. We're making a tax climate that can be more business friendly."
Rep. Jim Davnie, DFL-Minneapolis, said the bill is still not fiscally responsible, because the tax breaks are not paid for.
"Many of the fine provisions that are in here are a lot less fine when you don't actually pay for them," Davnie said. "It's like taking the kids out to dinner and then trying to find out where the window in the men's room is, so you can sneak the family out rather than pay the bill."
A spokeswoman for Gov. Dayton said early Thursday that the governor hasn't yet reviewed the new version of the bill.