MSBA was hopeful that after a two-hour long meeting today between legislative leaders, Governor Dayton, House Speaker Kurt Daudt (R-Crown) and Senate Majority Leader Tom Bakk (DFL-Cook), an announcement of a special session would emerge.
The Minneapolis-to-Eden Prairie transit route continues to be the obstacle.
“I think we’re pretty close to agreeing on everything but the Southwest light rail piece,” Daudt told reporters. Daudt said that his House Republican caucus would not support moving forward with any special session agreement that includes the light rail project while Senator Bakk said his Senate DFL caucus would reject any deal without it.
All three legislative leaders agreed that a $995 million general obligation bonding package and the corrected tax bill with $259 million package of tax cuts would be a part of a special session.
The Agriculture Property Tax Relief provision in the tax bill is one of MSBA’s top legislative priorities. If passed, it would allocate $90 million in a property tax credit for owners of agricultural property. Under this provision the state tax credit is equal to 40 percent of the property tax attributable to school district debt levies. This provision is especially important to Greater Minnesota school districts because it would help school districts pass capital bond referendums. This would be a significant and noticeable tax reduction for agriculture land-owners, as it relates to capital bonds for school districts. We will continue to advocate for a special session to pass the 2016 vetoed tax bill.
Legislative leaders are scheduled to meet with Dayton again next Thursday.