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Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Greatest Hits From the Tax Bill Debate

I watched several hours of Monday's debate on the floor of the Minnesota House re: the 2008 Omnibus Tax Bill.

Fascinating stuff....

Wife abuser Rep. Mark Olson introduced an amendment to the bill that would have amended the Minnesota Constitution to eliminate all property taxes. I *think* the revenue would be replaced by more regressive sales taxes. Olson failed to mention that little item when he introduced the amendment. What a sensational idea. I missed the vote on the amendment, so I don't know who else lined up with the wife beater.

The tax bill contains no language about the proposed Mall of America theft of fiscal disparity funds. The supporters of this bad idea knew that it wouldn't fly in the tax committee chaired by Rep. Ann Lenczewski, so while the Senate included it in their bill, the plan is to 'work it out in conference committee'.

Rep. Torrey Westrom introduced an amendment to use TIF instead of fiscal disparities for this bad idea, which gave the tax committee chair a chance to show this idea for the fraud that it is.

She wanted the members to take the vote and get everybody on record, but at the end Rep. Westrom withdrew his amendment. Coward.

So, the conference committee will meet, with no official House position on the Mall of America theft.

Rep. Lenczewski very effectively pointed out what should be a show-stopper for the whole thing. In order for the fraud, I mean, um, deal to happen, some unit of government has to agree to back the bonds for the construction. Representatives from the City of Bloomington have gone on record as refusing to back these bonds. Hennepin County is another possibility, but I don't know if there have been any official discussions, and my opinion is that they're still feeling the sting of the Twins stadium fallout.

The response on the floor was that finding a backer for the bonds would be, again, 'worked out in conference committee'. Rep. L. pointed out that the state cannot compel another unit of government to back the bonds.

Hopefully this is dead.


Avidor said...

Olson doesn't like JOBZ either...

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Markh said...

Neither does Ann Lenczewski.

JOBZ is not in the 08 tax bill.

There were amendment attempts during the floor debate, but they were not successful.