The Minnesota Senate will focus on cutting corporate taxes and reducing permitting in Senate File 1. That bill is historically reserved for the most important measure for the party in power. Republicans, who took control of the Senate for the first time in nearly forty years, are clearly focused on efforts to improve the state’s business climate.
Senate File 1 is focused on “job creation” and reducing “certain taxes.” The bill’s specifics have not been released yet but I’m told the measure will cut the corporate income tax and streamline the permitting process.
The Rochester Post-Bulletin also reports that House Tax Chair Greg Davids will introduce a bill to phase out the corporate income tax by 2020.
The key question is whether House and Senate Republicans intend to cut any corporate taxes in the upcoming two year budget cycle. If so, how do they justify deepening a budget hole that is already projected to be $6.2 billion.
Senate File 2 will deal with property taxes for agricultural farmland and efforts to preserve farmland from future development. The measure is known as “Green Acres.” Farmers have criticized changes to the program.
Senate File 3 will provide for zero-based budgeting. The Minnesota Chamber of Commerce has been calling on the Legislature to set the state’s budget at $32 billion (the amount of money projected to be collected) instead of the amount the state is expected to spend. This bill will follow that suggestion.
Senate File 4 will remove the state’s moratorium on new nuclear power plant construction in Minnesota. MPR has a story on those efforts here.
It’s clear that Senate Republicans are following the lead of the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce. The business community has long criticized Minnesota’s corporate income tax as being too high and the length of time it takes to process permits. The Chamber is also lobbying for zero-based budgeting and the removal of the moratorium that forbids new nuclear power plants from being built.
The other Senate bill introductions include a bill that creates term limits for legislators, a bipartisan sponsored bill that would ban synthetic marijuana, a bill that creates a single payer health plan and a bill requiring state finance officials to include inflation in future budget forecasts. The last two bills mentioned will be introduced by Democrats.
Both House and Senate Republicans will hold news conferences on Monday to discuss the bill introductions. The Minnesota House has not published the list of bill introductions yet.
You can read the topline summary of the Senate bills here.