Senate votes down tax bill... then passes it - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

Senate votes down tax bill... then passes it

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ST. PAUL, Minn. (KTTC) -- It was a roller coaster of a debate at the capitol over the senate tax bill. But in the end, it was approved to pass the largest tax increase in the history of Minnesota.

The bill put Rochester lawmakers pushing for the Destination Medical Center in a tough situation. Some wanted to push for the DMC plan which was within the tax bill they didn't approve of.

"I wish it wasn't in this bill. I wish it was a separate bill. But that's not for me to decide," said Sen. Dave Senjem (R-Rochester).

On the senate floor, all views were heard, votes were tallied, and the bill failed 32-34.

However it wasn't over.

The senate recessed, and when they returned, Sen. Hoffman (DFL-Champlin) who voted no, moved to reconsider the bill's defeat. Spurring more debate.

"I would suggest this bill needs a little more work. Let's send it back to the tax committee. Let's use those one two three days or whatever it takes. Do bring it to order, if you will, to gain the support that it needs," said Senjem.

"Somebody's going to be responsible for this tax bill," said Sen. Dan Hall (R-Burnsville). "Maybe it will be two people so it's not one person. but they're going to get hit. And it's going to be the number... and largest hit they'll ever have. Because it will never be forgotten."

The motion to reconsider was approved. And eventually, the bill came back to the table for a second vote... this time passing 35-31.

So it was a 'yes' to taxes to the wealthy, to clothing, cigarettes, and state sales.

"It's what makes the spending in the spending bills possible," said Sen. Tom Bakk (DFL-Majority Leader). "I mean the significant investment in higher education and early childhood and all day kindergarten money in the school formulas... all made possible by the package."

"Why they changed their vote I don't know," said Sen. David Hann (R-Eden Prairie). "I don't know what was promised or threatened but they got their votes to change and they passed the bill."

Under the plan, individuals who earn $80,000 and up and joint filers with taxable income above $141,000 would see their state rate jump from 7.85 percent to 9.4 percent.

The bill's author says that's about 6 percent of filers.

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