A special session is set to take place Sept. 9 in order to provide disaster relief after storms caused damage in 18 Minnesota counties last June.
The hardest-hit areas are mainly in western, central and southern Minnesota. This includes the three counties which make up the legislative district I represent: Pope Douglas and Stearns. I am pleased we are working to provide assistance.
Disappointingly, the special session will not include work to repeal a new sales tax on farm machinery repairs. This tax was passed into law earlier this year and Gov. Mark Dayton recently said he was open to eliminating it during this upcoming one-day special session.
I am among those who deem this new tax to be a mistake that will raise costs for ag. production, especially as we move into the harvest season. In the end, this issue was left off the special-session agenda that Dayton and legislative leaders set.
We will now look to address this issue in the upcoming regular session, which starts in February. There also is a new warehousing tax on ag. inputs and more that I would like to repeal before it takes effect April 1. The governor has said he is open to reconsidering this tax as well.
It is good the brief special session will take place to provide storm relief and that was our top priority all along. It just would have been nice to also fix at least one tax “mistake” that will cost farmers and have a negative ripple effect throughout our state and local economy.
I will provide more specific information regarding the storm-relief package in an upcoming email.