Tuesday - June 7, 2016 6:32 pm

Dayton vetoes tax-cut bill over one word, but could have cost Minnesota $101 million Featured

Written by WIZM staff and wire services

A simple "and" instead of "or" error would
have changed taxing on gambling facilities

According to one representative, Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton destroyed what little goodwill existed between him and Republicans.

That, according to Greg Davids (R-Preston), and all over one word that needed changing in a tax-cut bill.

A pocket veto by Dayton because of that word ended a $260 million tax-cut bill.

"This was a red herring, but that's what they used as an excuse, and so we'll see where we go from there," Davids said. "This could be easily fixed with no special session, so there's something else going on here, I'm not sure what it is."

That one word in the 277-page tax bill was intended to simplify how bingo halls be taxed. The error actually would let just about any gambling facility define itself as a bingo hall and qualify for a big tax break.

The single word itself was "and" instead of "or."

It would have put a huge hole in the state's budget and affected funding the Minnesota Vikings' billion-dollar stadium over the next three years. Officials said it would have cost the state treasury $101 million over that time. 

Dayton also said a sales tax exemption wasn't renewed - left out by accident - for the Minnesota State High School League that funded low-income athletes.

The bill would have led to tax savings to farmers, college students and parents with child care costs, among many others.

Instead, Dayton added to the pile of leftover work by declining to sign the bill before Monday's midnight deadline.

A special legislative session is likely on the way in St. Paul.

Dayton and top lawmakers met briefly Tuesday afternoon to discuss the prospect of an overtime session. 

It won't be easy, however.

Dayton and fellow Democrats want a larger public works package than House Republicans say they can stomach.

The two parties are also still divided over funding a mass transit light-rail line to southwestern Minneapolis suburbs. 

Dayton says he hopes to hold a special session by the end of the month. 

Last modified on Wednesday - June 8, 2016 2:21 am

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