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May 30, 2013     Tri-County News
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May 30, 2013

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Thursday, May 30, 2013 T,-- Pa-e 15 Tri County News • www. tricountynews mn "=-" Minnesota State Senator ..... Final 2013 legislative review The 201 legislative session came maintenance, and telecommunica- to a with the passage tions equipment by small and large of the final conference committee businesses. Sales taxes for individuals reports. The most controversial and on intemet purchases, digital down- time consuming of the remaining load like iTunes and eBooks, and tele- budget bills was the final agreement vision satellite services. The rate stays on the tax bill. The House and Sen- the same. Increase taxes by 50 per- ate DFL, along with Governor Day- cent on vehicle rentals. Increases cig- ton all proposed a variety of new tax arette/tobacco taxes by $408 million increases and policy and it required or $1.60/pack. Increases individual significant negotiations to work out income taxes by $1.1 billion by creat- all the differences, ing a new 4th tier and increasing the In the end, the bill came back from rate 25 percent from 7.85 percent to conference with significant changes 9.85 percent for married couples mak- from the original proposal put for- ing at least $250,000, and individuals ward by the Senate DFL. The pro- making at least $150,000. Increases posal to increase the sales tax to cloth- business taxes by $424 million in FY ing, services, and some good was 2014-15 through the repeal ofthe For- dropped from the bill, as was a pro- eign Royalty Deduction, and FOC tax posed new tax rate for families mak- treatment, and more. Increases estate ing $140,000 or individuals making taxes by $78 million through impos- just over $79,000. A House proposal to ing a new gift tax and by tightening increase the alcohol tax was also not current law on exemptions for quail- included in the final bill. fled farms and small businesses. The major tax increase provisions Other provisions included in the in the agreement are: bill are: Sales taxes on commercial ware- Provisions to support the cre- housing and storage, electronic and ation of the Destination Medical commercial equipment repair and Center In Rochester. Governor Day- toffs Viking stadium back-up fund- an agreement on all the remaining cent in the second year of the bien- ing proposal using a "stocking fee" differences. This bill increases total nium. Home and Community Based related to the tobacco tax increase, funding by $250 million over cur- Service providers receive a COLA Opfront capital equipment exemp- rent levels. The bill also free tuition increase of 2 percent each year, tion for businesses, at campuses in the Minnesota State which is far less than was requested. Other Budget Bills: TheTranspor- Colleges and Universities system The State Government Omnibus bill tation Omnibus Finance bill which (MnSCU) and the University of Min- was agreed to by conferees and was was agreed upon by the DFL legisla- nesota (U of M). Also included in the approved on the final day of the ses- ture and Governor Dayton includes final agreement is the "Prosperity sion. In the conference committee some new fees which ~ impact all Act" which would give financial aid agreement, the bill repeals the Sun- Minnesotans who own and oper- and in-state tuition to illegal, non- set Commission which was imple- ate a vehicle. This legislation will documented students who attend mented in 2011 in a way of ensur- increase the drivers' licenses trans- Minnesota high schools and meet ing that state level commissions are action filing fee by $3 and expand other specific criteria. The Jobs, Eco- doing what they were created to do. the current wheelage tax state wide nomic Development, Commerce, The bill also increases the pay for and increase it from $5 to $10 per and Energy Finance bill was agreed executive branch salaries. Also vehicle. Vehicle title fees are also upon and contains a wide variety of included is an increase in funding increased from $6.25 to $8.25. provisionsdealingwithenergy, com- forpublicbroadcastIngof$2million Removed from the bill as it left the merce, and some economic devel- for the biennium. Senate floor were an increase in the opment tools around the state. The Other Legislation: S.E778 which gas tax and two different proposed bill includes a mandate that by2020 would allow a vote by some day sales tax increases to ffmd trans- at least 1.5 percent of energy from care and personal care workers on portation projects. The E-12 Educa- public utilities come from solar, whether they want to join a union. tion Omnibus bill was finalized and The bill also lists a goal of 10 per- The bill, which has been intensely increases funding by nearly $500 cent by 230. Other provisions in the controversial, was passed ear- million while making a variety of final agreement include subsidies lier today by the Minnesota House, policy changes. Included in the final for Hollywood TV and movie com- which was its final stop prior to bill is an expansion of optional all panies, an extension of unemploy- being sent to the Governor. day kindergarten, removal of test- ment benefits for workers who are Senator Michelle Fischbach mg requirements for students and locked out. The Health and Human encourages and appreciates con- teachers, as well the re-instatement Services Omnibus bill spends total stituent input and can be reached oftheGeneralEducationLevywhich of $11.27 billion dollars which is by phone at (651) 296-2084, by will impact property taxes In every .5 percent less than was built into mail to G 15 State Office Building, class. The Higher Education Omni- the budget forecast. 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