Resorters like tax-break plan; seat belt idea OK'd advances
ST. PAUL -- A proposal offered by Gov. Tim Pawlenty would help Jennifer Bateman afford to replace siding and windows on one of her resort's cabins. The plan, part of Pawlenty's suggestions to change the current Minnesota budget, would give resort...
ST. PAUL -- A proposal offered by Gov. Tim Pawlenty would help Jennifer Bateman afford to replace siding and windows on one of her resort's cabins.
The plan, part of Pawlenty's suggestions to change the current Minnesota budget, would give resort owners a sales tax rebate of up to $10,000 a year for building or repairing their facilities.
Statewide, resorts could get $880,000 in rebates.
Bateman said the Two Inlets Resort near Park Rapids, which she owns with her husband, Bob, is an example of how resorts across the state could benefit.
"We truly believe that any legislation, anything this Legislature can do, to preserve the resort industry in Minnesota is a step in the right direction," Bateman said. "It certainly is a modest proposal."
Bateman, president of the Congress of Minnesota Resorts, said the tax break is just one step that could help stem the state's loss of four or five ma-and-pa resorts a month.
Many resort properties are being sold for housing because owners usually can get more money from housing developers than people who would keep the properties as resorts.
Pawlenty said it is important to keep resorts open.
With so many resorts being converted to housing, Pawlenty said the tax break is one way to preserve lake access for average Minnesotans.
Seat belt proposal advances in Senate
Tom Kummrow told a Senate panel on Tuesday that his family was lucky.
Kummrow's son, Darin, was seriously injured in a car crash last October, but the 27-year-old escaped death.
Other families aren't so fortunate, the former Fergus Falls police captain said.
"My story is not unique. They are out there all the time," Kummrow said of crash victims who didn't wear a seat belt.
Kummrow was testifying in support of a bill in the Minnesota Legislature that would make seat belt use a primary law. The proposal, which would allow authorities to stop a vehicle just because an occupant is not buckled in, is sponsored by Sen. Steve Murphy. The Red Wing DFLer is chairman of the Senate Transportation Committee.
The committee passed the bill and sent it to the full Senate. The vote followed emotional testimony from Kummrow and others.