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House GOP proposes doubling estate-tax minimum

Plus: state building code unenforced in much of Greater Minnesota; Norm Coleman sounds the terrorism alarm; State of Hockey is happening; and more.

Minnesota House of Representatives
MinnPost photo by Briana Bierschbach

Is Minnesota finally relenting in its war on job creators? Maybe, if House Republicans’ tax proposal carries through. MPR’s Tim Pugmire relates the GOP proposal: “In their $2 billion package of tax cuts, Republicans who control the Minnesota House would more than double the amount of money Minnesotans would have to amass before their estates are subject to taxes. … The House tax bill would raise the threshold to $2 million this year. It also would make additional annual adjustments so that by 2018 the tax would only affect estates of $5 million or more. Future increases would be tied to inflation. Also in 2018, a flat rate of 16 percent would take effect.” The proposal might face a rough time in the DFL-controlled Senate, though, shockingly, Edina’s DFL representative and senator back the move. For more background on Minnesota’s estate tax, read Briana Bierschbach’s March MinnPost report: “Why lawmakers from both parties want to change Minnesota’s estate tax.”

Building inspections? Nah — what’s the worst that could happen? Also at MPR, Riham Feshir uses the occassion of the collapse of the roof at the Thumper Pond Resort water park on Ottertail, Minnesota to highlight the fact thatMany Minnesota governments outside the seven-county metro area don’t enforce the State Building Code. It’s the one law that requires inspections throughout a new construction process. … But just 21 of the 87 Minnesota counties enforce it, according to the Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry. … Ottertail City Clerk Elaine Hanson said it’s too soon to respond to the waterpark roof collapse by discussing the possibility of adopting the State Building Code. She said the city, with a population of fewer than 600, never had a need for it.

Former Minnesota senator and current conservative moneyman Norm Coleman channeled his inner Chicken Little to write an op-ed for the Star Tribune warning, on the basis of 4 recent arrests of Minneapolis men suspected of wanting to join ISIS, “…about our potential status as the Land of 10,000 Terrorists.” So what does Coleman recommend, other than the de rigeur less-political-correctness? “It’s time the governor and the Legislature brought all of Minnesota into the conversation…” That ought to do it. 

Is the State of Hockey thing is actually happening? Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal’s Nick Halter looks at the NHL’s report on television ratings and attendance and finds: “The Wild were, by most measures, in the top tier of NHL teams for TV ratings and attendance, according to data obtained by the Sports Business Journal, a sister publication to the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal. … Fox Sports North reported a 4.2 average household rating at the end of the regular season. That was an increase of 41 percent over the previous season and catapulted the team to the fifth-highest of NHL teams outside of Canada.”

In other news…

There’s a lot of debate about how best to educate our students, but at least we can all agree on one tried and true method: constantly fixating on what they are wearing. “Dress code stirs controversy at Harbor City International School” [Duluth News Tribune]

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It just got real: Wyoming, Minnesota is suing makers of “so-called flushable wipes” that are clogging the city’s sewer system. [Star Tribune]

A Fargo politician is deeply involved in the controversial Detroit Lakes hotel development, where the DNR is threatening to sue the city of Detroit Lakes if they approve the building plan. [Inforum]

St. Cloud may build a $25 million aquatics center. [Saint Cloud Times]

Food trucks are coming to Brainerd! “Brainerd City Council: Food truck ordinance passes” [Brainerd Dispatch]

Minneapolis gets its first tool libraryThe Northeast Minneapolis Tool Library

A Sartell man is keeping the milk man business alive. [Rochester Post Bulletin]

Calling all budding Von Trapps: “Ordway holds ‘Sound of Music’ casting call” [Pioneer Press]

Gardy got himself an agent. [NBC Sports]