Thursday, January 05, 2017

Good News in Governor's Tax Proposal.  The Governor and Lieutenant Governor released their tax cut proposal today and the proposal includes an increase in debt service equalization.  Obviously, having increased debt service equalization officially on the table for the 2017 session is a plus, but the second positive angle of this proposal is that it is in the Governor's tax bill and not in his education budget.  The Governor's tax bill also includes the Agricultural Bond Credit that provides considerable relief for owners of agricultural property for the portion of their property tax bill that goes toward school building bond debt.

The projected cost of the bill is $34 million annually for the Agricultural Bond Credit and $60 million over four years for the increase in debt service equalization.  The increase in debt service equalization results from a reduction in the second tier eligibility threshold from 26.24% to 22.34% for FY 18 and 19.00% for FY 19 and beyond.

Here is a link to the press release from the Governor's office on his entire tax cut proposal:

Governor Mark Dayton and Lt. Governor Tina Smith Propose Tax Cuts for Over 450,000 Minnesotans

Bill Introductions.  It wasn't a heavy day for bill introductions, but a number of prominent items were introduced.  At the top of the introductions in both the House and Senate is the bill to provide assistance for participants in MNSure with their premium increases.  This will be the hottest item on the early-session agenda and the discussion could portend how the rest of the session will go.  Below are the House and Senate introductions pertaining to education issues with the chief author, a short description, and an embedded link to the bill's language in the title.



Senator Wiger's increased equalization bill is the same bill he introduced last session.  It increases the 2nd tier from $760/PU to $1,000/PU and increases the referendum market value equalizing factor from $510,000/PU to $650,000/PU.  It's good to see the equalization issue surfacing this soon in the session.  Hopefully, we can build on this promising start.

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