On Sept. 9 the members of the Minnesota legislature are going to be heading to St. Paul for a special session.
The extra session has been called by Gov. Mark Dayton who met with legislative leaders to come up with a limited agenda for the session. The one-day session, which has been scheduled for Sept. 9, is going to focus on one issue – disaster aid for several counties in the state which were im-pacted by storms earlier this year.
“We should be able to take care of the business in one day,” said District 16 Sen. Gary Dahms.
The session, he said, has a pre-agreed agenda with the dollar amount to be allocated to 18 counties in northern and central Minnesota already determined.
Dahms said there are going to be some hearings before the bill makes it to the floor, and then he surmised most of the time in the House and Senate chambers is going to be spent explaining what is in the proposed bill.
While the agenda is set, some have ex-pressed disappointment other items were not included.
On top of that list is the sales tax on labor charges on repair of farm machinery.
The tax, which actually went into effect July 1 has been a topic of discussion since it was approved during the most recently completed session, and most politicians have agreed, including the governor, it is a tax that needs to end.
“While some farmers have already started to pay this tax since it went into effect on July 1, more farmers will be feeling the pain of increased costs as we get back into the fields for fall harvest and equipment begins to break down,” said Min-nesota Farm Bureau president Kevin Paap in a recent press release. “Over the next two years, farmers will be spending over $28 million paying this tax. This is a cost coming directly out of farmer’s pockets.”
“It was disappointing that this mistake was not fixed when we had the chance.
“We encourage the legislature and the governor to address this issue in the first days of the 2014 Minnesota legislative session.”
Dahms also ex-pressed his disappointment with the decision not to add this repeal action to the agenda, adding other business to business taxes, a warehouse tax and a tax on certain kinds of technology purchases could also have been on the agenda.
The issue, Dahms surmised, would be in finding other funding to replace those taxes if they were to be repealed, and that could be part of the reason they were not added to the agenda for the special session.
Dahms said the tax repeal should be a priority when the 2014 session begins, and it is his hop legislators do the research in ad-vance of the session to see just what kind of impact those taxes are having on the economy. He believes when they see how it is impacting businesses repealing them is going to be an easier sell.