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Thursday, May 12, 2005

Tax bill passes House

Before the House started working on the Transportation bill, they passed the tax bill. The news on this is more mixed. It includes cuts in taxes for married couples, but it cuts local government aid to Minneapolis and Saint Paul by $28 million, a direct attack on our urban core. It also attacks renters like myself, reducing the renter's credit by $66 million and the proposal to trigger a referendum on property taxes which, to my knowledge, allows landlords and property owners to vote multiple times but prevents tenants from having a say.

The bill also includes a local option sales tax, which would allow cities and other local units of government, alone or working jointly, to enact their own sales taxes for certain projects. Now, cities that want to do this have to go to the legislature to get permission, something that they don't always do even if referenda show that a majority of people in the area want such a tax. It is all politics, and this would remove the need for this trek to the legislature.

This is nowhere close to the Senate's proposal, so there will need to be a conference committee.

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