DFL Gov. Mark Dayton vetoed a GOP-led package of business tax breaks that would have blown a $100 million hole in the state budget in coming years.
“It ignored my requirement that any future spending must be paid for and avoid adding to the next biennium’s projected deficit,” Dayton said in the veto letter.
The tax bill had been one of the top priorities of Republicans who control the Legislature and the state business community. Dayton vetoed a much larger tax bill two weeks ago, so Republicans scrambled to piece together a new, scaled down version.
"There's no reason the governor shouldn't have supported property tax relief," said Rep. Greg Davids, R-Preston, chair of the House Taxes Committee. "We now have a job-killing governor."
Dayton said Republicans never meaningfully consulted with him on the legislation and the final bill did not fully address his concerns from the previous legislation, particularly that it not add to future deficits.
The plan offered tax breaks for research and development, investors in new businesses and historic preservation projects. Legislators also wanted to give small businesses up front tax breaks when they make capital equipment purchases rather than the current tax rebates. The measure also created special tax breaks for the Mall of America expansion.
Dayton said the GOP wrongly targeted cuts to business property taxes when individual property taxes have risen much more.
“There is no question that Minnesota businesses have been hit hard by recent property tax increases,” Dayton wrote. “But so has everyone else!... I remain committed to broad-based, comprehensive property tax relief for all property taxpayers, including – but not limited exclusively to – businesses.”