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Session Moves into May

The laudable goal of adjourning on April 30th wasn’t to be, as Governor Dayton and MN legislative leaders continue to struggle to find a global deal with the tax bill, bonding bill, and Vikings stadium bill. Also in play is a Department of Labor & Industry (DLI) bill that contains many important policy items for the homebuilding industry.

DLI Technical Bill
SF 1717 was heard in Conference Committee yesterday, where it passed to the floors of both bodies with a host of important policy provisions supported by BATC. Both the House and Senate will take up the bill, which can be debated but not amended in its current form. If it passes both bodies it will go to Governor Dayton for signature into law or veto. The Conference Committee report would:

  • Prohibit fire sprinkler mandates in the MN Building Code for single-family residential structures.
  • Require a written offer by the builder to the prospective customer the option to install fire sprinklers.
  • Eliminate the Independent Contractor Exemption Certificate requirements.
  • Eliminate the 2% withholding requirement for general contractors utilizing independent contractors.
  • Institute a 2-year subcontractor registration pilot program.
  • Expand course approvals for on-line education courses to include both the International Distance Education Certification Center (IDECC) or the International Association for Continuing Education and Training (IACET)

Tax Bill
The tax bill appears to be the key to breaking the impasse and finding a pathway to session adjournment. Both the House & Senate GOP strongly support the tax bill, which offers the following:

  • Provide an upfront sales tax exemption for capital equipment purchases by small businesses with 80 or fewer employees.

  • Freeze state-levied property taxes on all businesses.

  • Increase funding for the state's "angel tax credit" for investments in startup companies.

  • Offer larger research-and-development tax credits.

  • Grant a $3,000 tax credit for hiring

  • Provide refunds to homeowners whose property taxes increase 12 percent or more

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