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Minnesota United Stadium Tax Exemptions Approved, but Don’t Get Too Excited Yet

by on 5 April 2017

Omnibus tax bill HF4, which includes Minnesota United stadium tax exemptions, passed the Senate on Monday evening by a vote of 40 to 27. With the passage of the measure, the bill will now head to Governor Mark Dayton’s desk. However, soccer fans’ celebration over the bill’s passage should be met with some caution.

As we have reported previously at FifityFive.One, omnibus bills can be catch-alls. The more provisions in a single bill the more likely it will be passed as most legislators have something to be gained. This year’s omnibus tax bill, which was moved through the House last week and handed off to the Senate, is no different. As reported last week, the bill has a number of contentious items included that fall along party lines. The main issue: a refundable credit for a contribution to foundations that provide scholarships for non-public K-12 schools, make grants to charter schools, or foundations that support public schools. There is also controversial transportation funding.

MPR news reported that several new provisions were added to the Senate version of the bill before passage. One provision boosted school referendum equalization aid by stripping the City of Minneapolis of nearly $29 million of its state aid.

After last fall’s elections, Republicans control this year’s house and senate. DFL Governor Dayton submitted his own version of the bill in early January. His version offered $300 million in tax deductions compared to $900 million in the bill passed Monday night. With six weeks to wrap up this year’s session, the bill, as passed Monday night, is likely to be vetoed by the governor. Without a veto-proof majority, the legislature would need to craft an entirely new negotiated bill, most commonly done in conference committee, before sending it to get voted on by the legislative body.


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