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The bill would raise income, sales, and tobacco taxes to address the projected state deficit and fund the governor’s budget proposals.
(Published Mar 4, 2013)
The House Taxes Committee held two hearings last week designed to allow the public to express their thoughts and concerns with the governor’s tax bill, HF 677. Rep. Ann Lenczewski (DFL-Bloomington) introduced the bill on behalf of Gov. Dayton.
The first hearing on Feb. 27 went for five hours and included 104 testifiers, while the hearing on March 1 ran for roughly one hour and included approximately an additional 25 testifiers.
Of the testifiers, the supporters and opponents were split roughly equally. Many of the supporters were speaking to other parts of the governor’s budget that are funded by the revenues raised in the tax bill. Of those who testified in opposition, most focused on the business-to-business services extension of the sales tax, and some raised issues with the fourth tier income tax proposal. Others raised concerns about the elimination of existing sales tax exemptions such as those for membership in certain health clubs and for advertising and publication materials.
The League submitted written testimony to the committee supporting the LGA appropriation increase, but raising concerns about the extension of the sales tax to services and the potential cost to cities.
There were no amendments offered or votes taken by the committee, and the members did not have an opportunity to ask questions of the testifiers. The Senate has considered the tobacco and cigarette tax provisions in the governor’s bill, but has not yet scheduled hearings on the LGA articles, sales tax articles, or other parts of the bill.
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