Late this afternoon, Legislative leaders and Gov. Mark Dayton are scheduled to meet to work out the details for a Sept. 9 special session so we can appropriate disaster relief funding in the wake of last June’s storms.
Recent developments indicate disaster relief might not be the only item on the agenda. Dayton indicated last week he is open to repealing a new law which applies the state sales tax to farm machinery repairs and similar work.
I favor including this on the agenda and believe we should to go at least one step further and consider nixing the warehousing they also passed this year. That tax is scheduled to take effect next April and also would add a burdensome cost to not only ag. inputs, but other businesses throughout the state.
I will keep you in the loop as we learn more.
We have made our way through most of the summer festivals and people are already thinking about the start of the new school year. But this is still a huge time of the year for area businesses in the leisure and hospitality industries, so let's hope we have a strong finish to the season after a slow start due to inclement weather.
Tourism is a $12 billion industry annually for Minnesota. The 2013 Tourism and the Economy Brochure from Explore Minnesota shows that Otter Tail’s leisure and hospitality sector generated $72 million in 2011. That brought with it an estimated 2,052 jobs to our county.
The people who work in the leisure and hospitality industries play a crucial role in our local economy and should be commended for their work. Please do what you can to send some business their way and help make up for what was lost earlier this season.