ST. PAUL, Minn. - Gov. Mark Dayton says he's disappointed that he and lawmakers couldn't find a way to scrap a new tax on farm equipment repairs before calling a special session confined to approving aid for storm damage.
Dayton agreed Wednesday to call a one-day session to approve assistance for as many as 20 counties. Fellow Democrats and top Republicans couldn't come to terms on other taxes to repeal in the Sept. 9 session.
By his account, the farm tax was accidentally included in the new state budget. He says it doesn't make sense because farm equipment purchases and parts remain exempt from taxes while repairs carry an extra charge.
Minnesota legislative Republicans say the controversial new taxes could have been repealed if lawmakers searched hard enough for savings in the state budget.
The minority caucus leaders disputed Wednesday that they held out for too much in negotiations over a special session that will now be limited to approving aid for storm damage. High-level discussions over repealing some new taxes, particularly one on farm equipment repairs, fell apart.
Republican Rep. Kurt Daudt says he had doubts about a pot of money Democrats pinpointed to pay for the repeal. Republicans wanted a broader slate of eliminated taxes but that debate will now wait until next year's regular session.
Democrats say it was up to Republicans to propose budget alternatives. The GOP leaders say reduced spending is the answer.
Dayton supported immediate repeal of that tax but not an array of other new sales taxes Republicans wanted dumped.
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