Republicans on Monday made another request of Gov. Mark Dayton to call a special session to repeal a tax on warehousing and storage services that was part of the budget that lawmakers approved earlier this year. Senate Minority Leader David Hann and House Minority Leader Kurt Daudt said in a letter to Dayton that they’ve heard an “outpouring of opposition to this new tax” that was passed in “the eleventh hour” of the 2013 session. House Republicans made a similar overture to Dayton at a press conference on June 27. In their letter Daudt and Hann noted that Red Wing Shoes company plans to delay a distribution center in Red Wing because of the tax.
“Minnesotans can’t afford taxation by trial-and-error and frankly, they deserve better,” they wrote.
Dayton dismissed the letter during a state Capitol news conference.
“It’s a grandstanding stunt on their part,” Dayton said. “They don’t have any solution. …If they were to make a specific proposal of what the costs would be and how they would pay for that, then we would have something for the legislative leaders and myself to look at. This is just a publicity play.”
Dayton said his commissioner of the Department of Revenue Myron Frans had spoken to Red Wing Shoes’ chief executive and explained the tax wouldn’t apply to company’s own goods that are stored in the distribution center. If they stored another company’s goods, that would be taxed, Dayton said.
Dayton also noted that the tax doesn’t take effect until April 1, 2014, which means the Legislature could address the issue after they convene on Feb. 25.
The warehousing tax is projected to raise $95 million. Although it helped solve a projected budget deficit, some DFLers, including House Taxes Chair Ann Lenczewski, DFL-Bloomington, have criticized it.