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Overview highlights first meeting

Published (1/14/2011)
By Lee Ann Schutz
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The 29 members of the House Taxes Committee, most being new to the committee, got what the chairman called a “20,000-foot overview on the subject of taxes,” during their first meeting Jan. 11.

Analysts from the nonpartisan House Research Department explained the different sources of tax revenue collected by the state: nearly 42 percent comes from individual income taxes, 30.4 percent from sales taxes; and nearly 28 percent from other tax revenue, such as corporate and motor fuels.

Researchers noted that $5.3 billion from sales taxes is projected to be collected in fiscal year 2011. Other than the 2008 voter-approved three-eighths of 1 percent increase to fund the arts and environment, Minnesota’s sales tax rate has not increased since 1991.

Researcher Pat Dalton said there are only six states with a higher sales tax rate than Minnesota; however, many states have a higher local option sales tax rate.

Before the presentation, Rep. Greg Davids (R-Preston), the committee chairman, said his practice in the previous committees that he has chaired, is to have a DFL bill first be taken up by the committee. This year, he expects that to be one related to biosciences and taxes sponsored by Rep. Tim Mahoney (DFL-St. Paul). “They are bills that we want to get heard and acted on and to the governor’s desk,” Davids said, adding it could come forward in the next week or so.

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