Gov. Dayton “passes” tax bill; significant tax relief coming to residents of Caledonia school district

By Daniel E. McGonigle

General Manager

The Caledonia Argus

DFL Gov. Mark Dayton announced Tuesday, May 30, he would sign into law nine budget bills that make up the state’s $46 billion, two-year budget, and would allow a $650 million tax bill to become law without his signature.

Last year, as you recall, Gov. Dayton vetoed the tax bill by not signing it which meant a “pocket veto.”

Gov. Dayton said he returned the bill without signature which allowed the bill to become “enacted.”

He touted the many “positive features,” the bill has to offer.

Of greatest note in the tax bill for voters in the Caledonia Area school district is tax relief on the maximum effort capital loan which helped build the new MS/HS in 2002 and retrofitted the former high school to serve as the elementary building.

The district, who in last year’s education bill received about $3 million in tax relief, will see approximately $7 million from the $650 million statewide tax bill.

Tax committee chairman in the house, Greg Davids, was instrumental in pushing the legislation through.

On the Senate side senator Jeremy Miller was key in carrying the provision through for the school district.

“This wouldn’t have been possible without their help,” said an elated superintendent Ben Barton following the bill’s passage.

We highlight the timeline in another article in this week’s edition.

Other highlights of the bill

Rep. Paul Marquart introduced a provision in the bill which see tax relief for farmers.

No longer will farm land be taxed on its entire acreage for debt associated with building schools.

So farmers in Caledonia school district will also see a decrease in their taxes from this provision as well.

The bill also increases local government aid for cities and counties, and an expansion of the child care tax credit.

Also significant to Houston County is a provision which will allow workers who travel to Wisconsin to work to receive a tax break by the state of Minnesota based on the increased taxes they pay in Wisconsin.

The Governor and leaders of the Republican controlled house and senate are still squabbling over language which would’ve de-funded the legislature.

Lawmakers are reviewing possible litigation as a result of the dispute.