Senate delays vote on tax bill despite Dayton's rebuke - KMSP-TV

Senate delays vote on tax bill despite Dayton's rebuke

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ST. PAUL, Minn. (KMSP) -

The Minnesota Senate was set to take up its version of the House tax bill on Thursday, but even though Gov. Mark Dayton urged a quick vote to extend new deductions and credits to taxpayers this year, Republicans voted against suspending Senate rules to vote on it.

"It doesn't add up," a frustrated Dayton said. "I will speculate -- this is speculation on my part -- the Republicans in the Legislature have taken such enjoyment out of the problems with MNsure and the administrative snafus and the problems it's caused Minnesotans that I wouldn't be surprised if this is something they thought would work to their advantage. If they wait long enough, they have plausible deniability and [The Department of Revenue] can't get this put together."

DFL leadership in the Senate had hoped to fast-track the bill after it passed the tax committee on Thursday morning, but Republicans weren't willing to go along.

"In this Senate, we have been here a month, and it's pretty clear that this bill has not been a priority," Senate Minority Leader David Hann said. "This bill has not been in committee, it's not been talked about, it's not been processed."

The Senate's $434 million tax relief plan is $69 million less than the House plan and $182 million less than what Dayton sought.

Hann said lawmakers need more time to read the fine print, but Dayton contends that tax filers can't afford any more delays. 

"People who will file this weekend under the old tax laws -- literally, find out a couple days from now -- that they need to re-file in order to claim the retroactivity that will be in the bill that they're due," Dayton said.

If the Senate passes the bill, the House will need to decide whether or not to accept the plan or call for more discourse.

The Senate bill would remove the child care credit for 2013, but it would increase the working family credit for 331,000 families and eliminate the gift tax while adding $150 million to the state reserve fund.

The Department of Revenue was hoping the tax bills would be wrapped up by Friday so they could spend the weekend recoding the tax system for those who have not yet filed their returns.

Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.

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