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CAI-MN Legislative Update - April 6, 2014

Posted By CAI-MN LAC, Monday, April 7, 2014

It was a busy week as the House and Senate continued to work on a number of tax and budget provisions this week as both chambers continue to work on the larger pieces of session. The House Tax Committee passed their second Omnibus Tax Bill out of committee and sent it to the floor. Earlier in the session, a bill was passed and signed into law related to federal conformity and elimination of three business to business taxes, among other provisions. The second bill, HF 3167 is authored by State Representative Ann Lenczewski (DFL-Bloomington) and includes provisions related to property tax aids, credits and classification; income and sales taxes; and estate and mineral taxes. The House took the bill up on Friday afternoon and passed the bill 125-0. The Senate will release their tax bill on Monday and will begin to mark it up on Tuesday. It is possible they could pass the bill out of committee on Tuesday and take it up on the floor before they adjourn for Easter/Passover break on Thursday. While the House and Senate agreed more on the first tax bill with the repeals and conformity, we expect these two bills could take a little longer to reach compromise and they will be going to a conference committee later this session.

 

Along with the tax bills, the House and Senate are hard at work on their Supplemental Omnibus bills. The House passed their bill on Thursday night of the floor and the Senate Finance committee wrapped up their committee work on their bill Friday afternoon. The House bill added an additional $322 million into the current two-year budget period which began July 1, 2013. The Senate plan calls for roughly $209 million into the current two-year budget period. The Senate is planning to take their bill up early this week.

 

 

CAI-MN Bills of Interest

HF 2918/SF 2555-Residential solar energy systems limits imposition prohibition:  There was no movement on either bill this week. Currently the House language is wrapped up in HF 2834 (omnibus energy bill) and the Senate language is still a standalone bill. Along with being in two different bills the language differs. The Senate bill includes the latest changes that we have made with fresh energy dealing with configuration and allowable conditions. The Senate language also includes the January 1, 2015 effective date that CAI would like to see included in the final bill if the measure moves forward. We are continuing to talk with Fresh Energy on the bill and they might have a few more changes they are open to making. However, I feel they might ask for a tradeoff and would like to see the effective date removed as the language would only apply to newly formed HOA’s. If and when the bills move forward we will work to make sure that the date is not removed.

 

We have discussed moving our position on the bill to flat out opposition. However, weighing the options if we were to publicly move our position it is possible that the more harmful House language would then be moved by Fresh Energy. So for now we will continue to work with them until things change. It is unclear when the bills might come up for a vote or even if they will. With Easter/Passover break coming up this week Thursday and an eleven day break, we expect legislators to come back and wrap up many of the larger issues and possible adjourn early this session. If there are issues with this bill and it could turn into a larger fight, it is possible the measure might not advance.

 

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. It is safe to assume this issue is dead for session.

 

HF 1941- Mortgage foreclosure mediation established, and money appropriated:  This bill failed to meet the first committee deadline in the House. The companion to the House bill, SF 2779 failed to meet deadline in the Senate as well. We will continue to monitor and watch this bill to ensure that it does not get amended to any other bills this session.

 

HF 2783 - Ramsey County Housing and Redevelopment Authority authorized to establish housing improvement areas: This bill 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. This provision was included in the House Omnibus Tax bill HF3167 which passed on Friday.  Senate companion is SF 2739, it will most likely be included in the Senate Omnibus Tax bill this week.

 

HF 2917 - Special service district ordinance, petition, and veto requirements modified: 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. This language was not included in the House Omnibus Tax bill. The Senate Companion is SF 2581which has been laid over in Senate Taxes for possible inclusion in their Omnibus Tax bill. We will be watching for its inclusion this week.

Tags:  house  legislative  senate  update 

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