Dayton reverses course on immediate repeal of equipment repair tax

Gov. Mark Dayton says he’s now willing to make room in a possible special session for repealing the new state sales tax on equipment repairs.

Dayton adjusted his position during a visit to Farmfest in Redwood County today.  Two days ago he told reporters a special session must be limited to providing storm-damage relief for 18 counties, and described attempts to add other issues as “grandstanding.” But Dayton and DFL House and Senate leaders are now proposing that a repeal of the tax on business-related repair, which kicked in July 1, be included as a way to help farmers. They’re waiting for Republican minority leaders to agree to the proposed agenda for a one-day special session on Sept. 9.

Republicans have also been calling for a repeal of a new tax on warehousing services. But Dayton has said that issue can wait until the 2014 session, because the tax doesn’t take effect until next year.

GOP lawmakers were quick to respond to Dayton’s about face.  House Minority Leader Kurt Daudt, R-Crown, issued this statement:

“Just one month after Democrats’ new taxes took effect, they are now admitting Republicans were right. We’ve stood alongside Minnesotans all along, telling Democratic lawmakers in St. Paul that hardworking taxpayers can’t afford to pay more. But Governor Dayton, Speaker Thissen and legislative Democrats refused to listen. Today, Governor Dayton and Speaker Thissen announced they agree with us that their tax hikes, like the farm equipment repair tax, are bad for Minnesota. Furthermore, the governor has also reversed his position, conceding that the warehousing tax needs to be repealed,” said Rep. Daudt. “Republicans agree that Democrats’ tax increases hurt Minnesota families and farmers and they should be repealed.  By using Special Session to fix their mistakes, consider this a ‘Do-Over’ Session for Democrats.”