Gov. Mark Dayton says the Minnesota Legislature will have to hold a special session if it hopes to get disaster aid to the counties hit hard by this summer’s storms.

“There is no way to avoid a special session,” Dayton told reporters Tuesday. The state cannot divert the funds to the stricken communities without legislative approval, he said.

But before Dayton recalls lawmakers to St. Paul for the proposed Sept. 9 session, he and Republican leaders will have to settle the tax question.

The governor has proposed repeal of one of the new business-to-business taxes the Legislature passed last session -- a tax on farm equipment repairs. Republicans want to use the special session to repeal all the new business-to-business taxes.

Dayton and legislative leaders will meet Wednesday to try to find a way to offset any additional the tax repeals.

“I’ve said to everybody who wants to take one or all of those three taxes, we have to balance the budget and we have to do it honestly,” Dayton said. “If you wanted to eliminate $310 million in revenue for the three (new business-to-business taxes) then you have to tell us where you’re going to raise $310 million of additional revenue or cut $310 million of spending.

“A lot of those who are advocating this, avoid taking responsibility for it,” Dayton added.  “Well, I and the legislative leaders have that responsibility. I’ve been asking for six weeks, Republican leaders who have been advocating this: ‘Tell me where you’re going to find the money.’ Maybe we’ll get that tomorrow morning. I hope so, because that’s going to be the heart of it before we go any further.”


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