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Cooler tax bill ready for vote

ST. PAUL -- A tax bill once described as "smokin' hot" tax bill now is closer to lukewarm.

Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton vetoed a $200 million tax-relief bill Friday. Republicans who desperately want to cut taxes approved a $46 million measure this morning, hoping the House and Senate can pass it later today.

The bill would freeze a statewide business property tax for a year, saving businesses $10 million. It also would allow tax credits for people who invest in startup companies and give sales tax exemptions for small business equipment purchases.

When the bill froze and gradually eliminated the statewide business tax, House Tax Chairman Greg Davids, R-Preston, called it a "smokin' hot tax bill."

Now, Davids said, he sees no reason for Dayton to veto the new bill since Republicans removed provisions he did not like.

However, Dayton's office was not involved in the latest tax talks and the governor does not like increased state costs the bill would bring after the current budget ends.

Dayton had objected to the GOP plan to take money out of the budget reserve to fund tax cuts. While the new plan takes a lot less money, it still would use $28 million from the reserve.

Don Davis reports for Forum Communications Co.

Don Davis
Don Davis has been the Forum Communications Minnesota Capitol Bureau chief since 2001, covering state government and politics for two dozen newspapers in the state. Don also blogs at Capital Chatter on Areavoices.