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McNamar authors bill to repeal farm equipment tax

Rep. Jay McNamar

ST. PAUL – State Rep. Jay McNamar (DFL-Elbow Lake) has introduced several bills to repeal new sales taxes on agricultural and manufacturing machinery repairs. McNamar said that providing tax relief to Minnesota farmers is a top priority for him during the upcoming legislative session, which begins on Feb. 25, 2014.

“After such drastic weather and changes in markets this past year our farmers need some relief,” said McNamar. “There appears to be bipartisan interest in repealing these taxes and I hope we can work with Democrats, Republicans and Governor Dayton to get this done during the upcoming session.”

The farm equipment tax went into effect last July, but McNamar’s bill would repeal the tax retroactively at a cost of $28 million over two years. State officials currently forecast an $825 million budget surplus. The state will get its next forecast in March. McNamar said he is hopeful the current surplus will hold so that the legislature can repeal the farm equipment tax while maintaining a balanced budget.

“Our state is in better shape now that we have a budget that is balanced without gimmicks or accounting shifts,” said McNamar. “We should take this opportunity to get rid of this tax to support farms and businesses that help our rural economy grow and prosper.”

The State Legislature cannot take official action on McNamar’s legislation until the 2014 legislative session begins in late February. Broadly, McNamar said his goal for the session is to continue making progress to grow Minnesota’s economy.

“Last year we made a lot of progress for greater Minnesota, such as more funding for our rural schools, an increase in funding for nursing homes, and finally balancing our state budget in an honest way,” said McNamar.  “Still, we can do more to expand economic opportunities to families and small businesses that might not be feeling this economic recovery just yet.”