Anticipating special session, Thompson drafting bill to repeal warehouse tax

Sen. Dave Thompson

Dave Thompson, a state senator from Lakeville and a Republican gubernatorial candidate, is first out of the gate with legislation to repeal the new warehousing tax, should Gov. Dayton call a special legislative session to deal with disaster relief for counties hit by severe storms earlier this summer.

Dayton has been cool to calls to repeal the tax, but Thompson says he has asked Senate staff to draft the legislation, believing there will be DFL legislators who will join Republicans in the repeal effort.

“Obviously the most important thing, if there is a special session, is to deal with the issue of people who have been harmed and take care of the disaster issue,” Thompson said. “However, Rep. Ryan Winkler has opened the door for consideration of other issues [the state’s minimum wage] and there is no reason this could not be a bipartisan bill to get rid of the warehousing tax.”

A special legislative session is still in the early planning stages, but Dayton has indicated he would call one only if there were agreement to limit the scope of the session.

“I do think there is bipartisan recognition that this warehousing tax is very damaging to employment and damaging to business in the border areas, in particular,” Thompson said.

In June, Republican lawmakers gathered a group a business owners to explain why they consider the tax harmful. Rep. Ann Lenczewski, DFL-Bloomington, who heads the House Tax Committee, has said that she, too, opposes the tax but that its repeal would leave a hole in the budget.

The tax, which does not take effect until April 2014, would generate $13 million for the 2014 fiscal year and $82 million for the 2015 fiscal year. The Legislature would either be forced to find a new tax source or make budget cuts to make up for the revenue loss.

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Comments (1)

  1. Submitted by mark wallek on 08/06/2013 - 10:19 am.

    New taxes? An idea.

    As a homeowner North side, I see my fellow resident home owners keeping up the properties, investing in their homes. I see that the houses owned by absentee landlords do not look so good. Whether the renters are good neighbors or not is not the current issue. Upkeep of property is, and absentee landlords do not keep the property as a resident owner does. This ultimately affects the value of every home in the immediate area. So how about this: an “upkeep” tax on absentee landlords that will cause them to invest in keeping the lawn as something other than a bed of weeds and creeping charlie; that will cause them to actually invest in the integrity of the structure. I am watching one house now deteriorate due to bad stewardship and rotten occupants. This affects the value of my property and makes for unpleasantness all around. The fact that the absentee landlord does not care who occupies the hovel indicates their value to the neighborhood, and that is not positive. I should not be penalized financially because some low life slum lord wants to make a buck and let the property go. So tax the absentee landlords, and place rent caps on so they can’t pass on the expense. Then maybe we can start to encourage private home ownership again, rather than the lip service we give it now.

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