Budget bills move through conference committees
At the end of April, Senate lawmakers passed the Omnibus Tax Bill off of the floor. This bill includes significant reforms to reduce the property tax burden on Minnesota families and businesses, as well as reforms to Local Government Aid and the sales and corporate tax rates.
Like the other budget bills which have been passed, the Senate Omnibus Tax Bill now sits in conference committee with the House proposal. Representatives from both bodies are meeting nearly every day to examine differences between the House and Senate Tax Omnibus proposals and discuss possible compromises. While neither the House nor Senate will walk away with everything they want from the conference committee, the session goal of filling the $627 million deficit and crafting a sustainable budget for Minnesota remains the same.
Beyond reform and raising revenue, both tax bills include major economic development projects that will spur private investment and create thousands of Minnesota jobs. Five of the major projects which will likely be included in the final tax bill are: a biopharmaceutical manufacturing facility; a 3M Research and Development Lab; an expansion to the Mall of America; Emerson Process Management expansion; and the Rochester Destination Medical Center. The Senate’s Omnibus Tax Bill supports these projects through a sales tax exemption on construction materials and other incentives, which gives these proposals a much better chance for success. Future economic return from projects such as these will benefit all of Minnesota.
With only one week left of the 2013 legislative session, the Senate will continue to work long hours to pass budgets out of conference committees and again off of the floor. Once the overall budget for Minnesota has been decided upon, the Tax Conference Committee can determine reform and revenue specifics. While final agreement is still unknown, it has been clear from the start of session that the Senate, the House, and the Governor share a commitment to work together on a compromise solution that balances the budget, restores fairness to our tax system, and invests in Minnesota’s future prosperity.