DFLers push to pay back K12 shift with corporate tax hike

/ 27 February 2012 / jennifer

Tom Scheck, Minnesota Public Radio, February 27, 2012 –

Democrats in the Minnesota Legislature say they want to end a tax break for foreign operating corporations to help pay back recent payment delays to K-12 schools.

The Legislature and governor delayed $2.2 billion in payments to schools over the past four years to balance the state’s budget. Sen. Katie Sieben, RDFL-Newport, said closing what she calls corporate tax loopholes would generate $450 million a year. She said the plan would pay back the schools within six years.

“The state has given Minnesota kids $2.2 billion in IOUs,” Sieben said. “But IOUs can’t buy textbooks, construction paper or a chance for children to play in their elementary school band.”

Gov. Dayton has suggested using the money from closing tax loopholes to create a new tax credit to encourage businesses to hire. The state’s business community has opposed closing the corporate tax break. They argue it helps companies like 3M, Target and Medtronic remain competitive with foreign companies.

Meanwhile, the Minnesota Senate is currently considering a bill that would allow performance consideration in teacher layoffs.