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CAI-MN Legislative Update - March 24, 2014

Posted By CAI-MN LAC, Monday, March 24, 2014

CAI-MN Bills of Interest

SF 1308- Minnesota common interest ownership act lien provisions modifications: There is no new news regarding this bill. A House companion has not yet been introduced and it appears this issue is dead for this session.


HF 1941- Mortgage foreclosure mediation established, and money appropriated:  This bill failed to meet the first committee deadline as it was not heard this past week in the House. CAI along with a number of other stakeholders opposed to the bill sent a letter of concern to Rep. Paul Thissen, Speaker of the House, outlining our concerns. I was told this week by the Bankers Association who coordinated the efforts that the letter was received and Rep. Thissen had heard our concerns and stated that he had some issues of his own regarding the bill. A companion to the House bill, SF 2779 was introduced on Thursday and was referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee. I have been told that the bill has some of its own issues in the Senate and that a hearing is unlikely this session. We will continue to monitor and watch this bill to ensure that it does not get amended to any other bills this session.


HF 2918 - Solar energy system residential use restrictions prohibited: On Friday the House Civil Law Committee heard and passed the bill out of committee after a somewhat lengthy debate. The bill was sent to the general register where it will be taken up on the floor at a later debate. During Friday’s committee hearing CAI was asked to come down and speak about the bill and address some of our concerns. John Dorgan was on hand at appeared before the committee. John noted the position of opposition from CAI National that we oppose the bill but also did mention that we have worked with the authors to soften the bill and make it more workable. In the end the committee had the votes and the bill was passed out. A number of members were opposed to the bill as they agreed that covenants are in place and that people enter them knowing the details. However, there were a number of members on the committee that spoke about their own experiences in try to amend covenants and they understood the need to the policy change.


This week the Senate Judiciary Committee will hear the Senate SF 2555 on Tuesday and the Energy Committee is expected to hear it on Thursday. John, Michael and myself are continuing to work with the authors and Fresh Energy to make a few more changes that CAI is requesting on the bill. The reality is that the current legislature is pro-solar and the chances of a bill moving forward this session are pretty high. We will continue to work on this bill and continue to watch for updates on it from the LAC.


HF 2783 - Ramsey County Housing and Redevelopment Authority authorized to establish housing improvement areas: This bill was heard on Monday in House Government Operations and was sent to the Taxes Committee. No hearings have been scheduled for the bill as of now. Authorizes the Ramsey County HRA to exercise housing improvement district powers. The HRA would be allowed to do this by resolution, rather than ordinance, as is required for cities exercising those powers. The city in which the housing improvement area would be established may veto it by resolution. Effective the day following final enactment. Senate companion is SF 2739.


HF 2917 - Special service district ordinance, petition, and veto requirements modified: This bill was heard on Monday in House Government Operations and was sent to the Taxes Committee. No hearings have been scheduled for the bill as of now. Provides that a

Parcel that is wholly or partially classified as class three (commercial, industrial, or public utility)is subject to charges in a SSD. Current law provides that 50 percent or more of the property must be classified as class 3 to be subject to charges. Strikes reference to “land area” as a measure for determining the threshold for a petition or objection to formation of a special service district and repeals the definition of “land area.” The threshold for a petition or objection is based on net tax capacity. Senate Companion is SF 2581.


Tax Bill Update

Dayton Signs Tax Bill


This past week there was much discussion about the Omnibus Tax Bill and whether or not the Senate would help get a bill to the Governor’s desk this week. If you recall, the House had completed its work on federal tax conformity and repealing a number of last year’s business-to-business sales taxes earlier this month.  Over this past week the urgency for passage of this bill reached new heights as Gov. Dayton and House Leaders out the pressure on the Senate to pass a bill and get it to Dayton’s desk as soon as possible as there are many items in the bill that are part of conforming Minnesota laws with federal tax laws impact taxpayers who are waiting to file their 2013 income taxes before the April 15th deadline. On Wednesday morning the Senate Tax Committee introduced the bill and walked through a number of provisions. The committee then took amendments and testimony on Thursday morning before passing it out of committee. The Senate had hoped to then pass the bill off the floor just a few hours after their committee work but members needed more time to review the bill. On Friday afternoon the Senate passed their bill off the Senate floor and sent it to the House. The House agreed to the Senates changes and passed the bill off to Dayton Friday evening. Dayton then signed the bill into law Friday night. 


The Department of Revenue said they will need some time to make programming changes to their systems to accommodate the new laws and they should be up to date on Monday. The bill totals $508 million in tax reductions and $150 million to put toward the state’s budget reserves. 


A full summary of the bill from Senate Research can be found here:


Highlights of the bill include:

-Repeal of the warehouse storage sales tax

-Repeal of the telecommunication equipment sales tax (not retroactive)

-Repeal of the machinery and equipment repair sales tax (not retroactive)

-Most federal conformity measures

-Repeal of the gift tax passed last year

-Angel investor credit

Tags:  CAI  law  legislative  minnesota  update 

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