Tax bill to be negotiated

May 15, 2017 at 10:38 am

House and Senate conference committee members came to an agreement at the end of April, to seek $1.15 billion in tax relief during the next two-year budget cycle. The compromise was a little less than what the House had initially proposed and slightly more than the Senate’s plan. Legislators must now work with members of the Dayton administration, whose budget called for much less tax relief, to craft final language that will be acceptable to everyone.

The current bill calls for a change to the state general levy to exclude the first $150,000 in market value for commercial and industrial properties. The bill would also eliminate the automatic inflator for both C/I and cabin properties beginning in 2018. NAIOP Minnesota’s public policy team has been working tirelessly to obtain needed tax relief and is pleased with the progress.

Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka and House Majority Leader Joyce Peppin joined commercial real estate professionals at the May 4 Coffee & CREam event to discuss the tax bill and the budget and transportation bills. Both Gazelka and Peppin said the tax relief package has been prepared to move forward with input from the Governor. Gazelka admitted that negotiations with the Dayton administration could impact elements within the bill, such as the property tax exemption, which he and Peppin acknowledged would likely benefit commercial property owners in rural areas more than those in metropolitan regions. But Gazelka added that he would work hard to eliminate the automatic inflator in the state’s general property tax levy.

Peppin, who has negotiated legislative packages with Gov. Dayton in the past, said leaders will be meeting with the Governor as much as possible to come to a budget and tax resolution before the end of session on May 22, adding that no one would win if there were a government shutdown. She and Gazelka urged members of the commercial real estate sector to engage in the process by communicating with the Governor’s office about the importance of commercial property tax relief. Peppin added that small business tenants could provide greater benefit to the effort by contacting the Governor’s office about how they would benefit from property tax relief.

“This is not a political winner for us,” said Gazelka about the portrayal of tax relief for businesses in the state. “We need to shift the narrative that business is really good for Minnesota.”

 How to contact your legislator – and Gov. Dayton

Much remains to be accomplished before session ends, so we urge our members to contact their legislators and the Governor’s office to reiterate the need for commercial real estate tax relief. You can easily find your state representative by clicking here and your state senator by clicking here. Each listing features an email address you may use to communicate your thoughts and opinions. To contact Gov. Dayton, you will need to draft your remarks within this online form. Your voice does matter, so please take a moment and let your opinions be heard.

Entry filed under: Public Policy | Government Affairs.

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