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DFL rejects GOP call for special session on warehouse tax

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The Associated Press reports that state Republican legislators are prodding DFL Gov. Mark Dayton to call a special session so they can repeal a new tax on commercial warehousing services.

The DFL promptly rejected the idea (see statement from Speaker Paul Thissen below).

The new law isn't slated to take effect until April 2014, and the 2014 Legislature is scheduled to start the session in February. But the GOP lawmakers are calling for a special session as a tactic to keep pressure on their DFL counterparts, the AP reports.

Business owners and Republican lawmakers have blasted the new tax, adopted in May as part of the new two-year state budget. “It’s a dumb idea, and it makes no sense to me at all," Sen. Dave Senjem, R-Rochester has said.

Critics say the law could spur companies to move out of Minnesota. As an example, MPR and the Star Tribune talked to executives at Red Wing Shoes, who said the company is mulling whether to open a new warehouse in Minnesota or Missouri, and the new warehouse tax is a real factor in the decision.

The tax could generate up to $82 million in its first full year, the AP reported.

Thissen's statement:

“This year the legislature finished its work on-time and with the first structurally balanced budget in a decade. The public has experienced enough special sessions in past years and we do not need another.

"The reality is the warehouse tax will not be implemented until almost a year from now. Rather than rush to judgment without more facts and feedback, it is important we listen to the public and business community so we are prepared to make any needed changes next session.

"The warehouse tax is a narrow provision that is part of our balanced budget that provided meaningful property tax relief to Minnesotans, made historic investments in education and finally put our state on firm financial footing. We believe our budget will position Minnesota’s economy to continue improving and we will monitor our progress as we move closer to next session.”

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