Notebook: Tax revenues mixed

By Don Davis

Minnesota sales and personal income tax receipts were up in the first three months of the state fiscal year as state revenues came in just short of projections.

Minnesota Management and Budget on Thursday reported that overall state tax collections were down $2 million, less than 0.1 percent, compared to expectations.

Cigarette and other tobacco taxes fell $29 million below projections, about 21 percent short. Corporate income taxes were down $342 million, an 11 percent fall.

Nearly making up for those losses were a $46 million sales tax gain (4.2 percent higher) and $27 million more in individual income taxes (1.3 percent up)

The state collected more than $4 billion in the three-month period. Tax increases the Legislature and Gov. Mark Dayton approved earlier this year were to bring in $240 million during that quarter, but total revenue was $336 million more than a year ago.

No gun sales?

A Minnesota lawmaker questions a provision in contracts for a new stadium that he says appears to ban many businesses from selling guns there.

The chairwoman of the authority that runs the stadium said that Rep. Pat Garofalo, R-Farmington, misread the document.

“We certainly never intentionally prohibited gun sales” in the documents signed last week, Chairman Michele Kelm-Helgen of the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority said in an interview.

However, the document Kelm-Helgen and other authority board members signed a week ago says that it prohibits the stadium from being used by “any gun shop or other store whose primary business is the sale of guns or other weapons.” It also bans “adults-only use,” such as movies and other adult entertainment, as well as pawn shops or head shops.

Kelm-Helgen said the authority’s intention was to not allow the Minnesota Vikings football team to sell guns in its team store in the stadium.

In a letter to the authority, Garofalo said exhibitors at outdoor trade shows and the like should be allowed to sell weapons as long as they comply with laws and stadium policies.

“The people’s stadium should not, under any circumstances, arbitrarily prohibit these types of events…” the lawmaker wrote.

Kelm-Helgen said the authority so far has dealt only with rules dealing with the Vikings. “We haven’t really addressed whether we can have a gun show there.”

Invasive training required

More Minnesota businesses now are required to take training dealing with aquatic invasive species.

The Department of Natural Resources offers the training to lake service provider businesses this fall so they can legally work in the state’s waters. Those firms include ones that rent or decontaminate boats and other water equipment.

A law that began in July requires the three-hour training.

“Before this change, the law applied only to businesses such as marinas, dock haulers, boat clubs and others who install or remove equipment from state waters,” the DNR’s April Rust said.

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