No solution in sight to approve tax relief
Minnesotans are unlikely to see much tax relief this year as negotiations on a special session to re-pass a significant tax cut bill have ended with no solution. While legislative leaders and the governor agree that tax relief is needed as the ta...
Minnesotans are unlikely to see much tax relief this year as negotiations on a special session to re-pass a significant tax cut bill have ended with no solution. While legislative leaders and the governor agree that tax relief is needed as the tax relief bill initially passed in May with 89 percent support from legislators, the governor refused to call a special session without funding for a commuter train project called Southwest Light Rail.
The fact is, the governor could call a special session tomorrow and the House and Senate would easily pass this tax relief package. Farmers, college students, middle-class families, small business owners, and veterans would all benefit. Instead, because of the governor’s insistence on light rail funding, Minnesotans are left in the cold.
Simply put, Southwest Light Rail is a bad deal for Minnesota. Its costs have risen considerably over the last several years-with an updated price tag of just under $2 billion-and is currently in the midst of ongoing lawsuits. One such lawsuit is set to go to a jury trial in September of 2017.
The governor himself has stated that he would not fund the project until the legal challenges were resolved and the federal government agrees. In January, the chair of the Metropolitan Council emailed Dayton to inform him that the federal government would be withholding funds until there was a conclusion to the lawsuits.
Given this, it is clear that no action needed to be taken on Southwest Light Rail this year. This makes the governor’s decision all the more disappointing.
Last week, the governor held a meeting to discuss funding options that would allow him to bypass the legislature to fund the project. He is putting more effort into trying to fund this train than bring tax relief to Minnesotans.
I remain committed to putting people before politics. You deserve better.
Rep. Mary Franson