Nonprofit, nonpartisan journalism. Supported by readers.


Minnesota House passes tax plan

Plus: Polaris says tariffs could cost it millions; Senate votes to nullify water quality standard meant to protect wild rice; Twin Cities pharmacist accused of stealing 20,000 pills; and more.

Minnesota House of Representatives
MinnPost photo by Corey Anderson

Does this mean I don’t have to hire a CPA to process my TurboTax return?  Says the AP: “Sweeping tax cuts passed by Congress last year has made the routine of syncing state and federal tax codes a more daunting task for Minnesota lawmakers. A proposal to do so cleared the [Minnesota] House on Monday on a 90-38 vote, with 13 Democrats joining Republicans in approving the bill. But lawmakers still have plenty of work to do to get it done in the remaining three weeks of the session. The Republicans who control the Senate haven’t yet unveiled its tax proposal — they were set to do so Tuesday morning. And the GOP Legislature’s approach will be drastically different than Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton … .”

Over at MPR Tim Pugmire says, “Under the House plan, 2.1 million Minnesotans would see a tax reduction. An estimated 140,000 would see an increase. The bill reduces the rate for the second-lowest income tax tier in stages from 7.05 percent to 6.75 percent. It also increases the standard deduction from $13,000 to $14,000 and provides a deduction of up to $30,000 for property taxes. The state personal and dependent exemption would remain. And the bill helps businesses, with a reduction in corporate franchise tax rate in stages from 9.8 percent to 9.1 percent.” Thank goodness! Job creators can’t catch a break in this country anymore.

Nullified. From the AP’s Steve Karnowski: “The Minnesota Senate voted 38-28 Monday to nullify a water quality standard that’s meant to protect wild rice, a food central to the culture and diet of the region’s Ojibwe Indians. But senators also voted to add $500,000 for restoration work to the bill, which passed the House 78-45 last week, so the legislation will have to go back to the House before it goes to Gov. Mark Dayton. The governor has not publicly said whether he’ll sign or veto the measure. His spokesman, Sam Fettig, said Dayton was still reviewing the bill.”

Renovations resume in Duluth. Says Brady Slater in the News Tribune, “The $6.1 million Minnesota Slip seawall reconstruction project has resumed after a lengthy delay, said a city of Duluth news release on Monday. … Contractors began steel sheet piling on Monday, making it a good length of the way down the slip, which is home to the 611-foot S.S. William A. Irvin Ore Boat Museum.”

Article continues after advertisement

In Slate, Josh Voorhees looks at Richard Painter’s senate run. “Painter has spent much of the Trump presidency as a go-to commentator for cable news bookers looking for a Republican willing to criticize the administration on the air. That has made Painter a hero to the anti-Trump crowd, but it’s not clear how far the #resistance cred will carry with the grassroots left. Painter may be outpacing the Democratic establishment in calling for Trump to be impeached, but that doesn’t make him liberal. … On Monday, he inched leftward, declaring that a women’s right to have an abortion is ‘none of the government’s business,’ and saying that he’s for increased gun regulations. But he still sounded like a man who would have preferred to keep the R by his name if not for the Republican in the White House.”

But these things are easy to win. Says Martin Moylan for MPR, “Medina-based Polaris says potential tariffs on metal imports from China could cost the company millions of dollars. … On Monday, the Trump administration announced it would hold off on imposing tariffs on Canada, Mexico, Argentina, Australia, Brazil and the EU until at least June 1. The administration is preparing for trade talks with China later this week. Polaris said that if the tariffs stick on Chinese metals, that will increase the company’s costs by $10 million to $15 million.

Yeah, that stuff is a hot commodity. Matt Sepic at MPR reports, “A Twin Cities pharmacist appears in court Tuesday to face charges of stealing 20,000 pills, including opioid painkillers. Authorities say Health Partners opened an internal investigation in July, 2016 after five different controlled substances were stolen from its Park Nicollet pharmacies in Minnetonka and Wayzata. According to the criminal complaint filed in March, pharmacist Jeffrey Flynn Grothaus was caught on surveillance video making adjustments to drug inventory lists. He is charged with four counts of felony theft by swindle.” 

Speaking of hot commodities. In the PiPress Jess Fleming writes, “First, Salty Tart. Now, Rose Street Patisserie, the Linden Hills French bakery and cafe from acclaimed baker John Kraus, will be setting up shop in St. Paul. Rose Street will occupy a space that was formerly a Starbucks on the corner of Selby and Snelling avenues. According to a news release, St. Paulites have been asking Kraus, who also owns Patisserie 46 in South Minneapolis, for a location closer to home.” 

Lots of questions here. In the PiPress, Mara Gottfried writes, “A St. Paul Police Department vehicle struck a man’s van last week, and police said the case is being investigated as a hit-and-run. On the same day, the police department put Officer Nick Kellum on paid administrative leave. A police spokesman said state law doesn’t allow him to provide additional details about the reason. In 2014, Kellum was charged with leaving the scene of an accident while on duty. He pleaded guilty to running a red light and prosecutors dropped the other charge, saying they did not have sufficient evidence to pursue the hit-and-run charge.’”