Friday, January 25, 2013
See which goods and services would be taxed more, less or not at all in Minnesota under the governor's proposed changes.
If Gov. Mark Dayton’s sales tax plan goes into effect, you’d have to pay a little bit more when stopping by Electric Dragonland to get a tattoo because, unlike now, tattoos would be taxed. On the other had, your gifts from Hillary’s or sports equipment from Northstar Lacross would be cheaper because the sales tax rate would drop from 6.875 percent to 5 percent. There’s no denying that shoppers on Hopkins’ Mainstreet would see the effects. Here are three lists the Minnesota Department of Revenue released Thursday (click on PDF thumbnails at right to display the lists): Which changes would affect you? Which would have an effect on businesses in Hopkins? Share your thoughts in the comments below. *** Related stories
Friday, December 2, 2011
All expect the money to pay down lingering debt.
Hopkins' state legislators are generally pleased with yesterday’s announcement that Minnesota has a an $876 million surplus—but they caution that the money still does not completely address the overall debt, which required the state to delay payments to local school districts and tap into the tobacco money awarded to the state a decade ago. “Keep in mind that technically there really isn’t a surplus,” said Rep. Steve Simon (DFL-District 44A) Simon said he generally favors either putting the surplus in the budget reserve fund—the so-called “rainy day” account where the money is legally obligated to go—or starting to pay the local school districts in the state the money technically owed them from the last legislative session because of …
Tuesday, May 24, 2011
The Minnesota legislature will convene a special session to address the budget.
Hopkins Sen. Ron Latz (DFL-District 44) said Tuesday that he doesn’t see a budget deal being reached in the legislature before July 1, which is when the state government would shutdown for lack of funds. The senator made his remarks while touring the Cedar Trails Condominiums in St. Louis Park, which sustained the most damage in the city during Sunday’s tornado. Latz added that he certainly didn’t want to see a shutdown, but said he hasn’t seen a willingness by Republicans to compromise. “(Gov. Mark Dayton) has moved three times,” but Republicans have not, Latz said. “They think they have a calling.” In a written statement, Minnesota Republican Party Chairman Tony Sutton said that Republican leaders have adjusted their proposed budget when…
Friday, May 20, 2011
Two directors opposed advanced approval of district budget without state plan.
State budget uncertainties heated up a routine school board budget action and, with the absence of one director, threatened to kill two previously agreed-upon programs. Directors were united in March when they gave preliminary approval to what they praised as an $81 million “steady as she goes" budget. But when they went to give final approval Thursday, Director Ellen Dustman and Director Wendy Donovan, the board treasurer, balked at approving the budget so far before the June 30 deadline without knowing how much state money schools will get. “I’m not confident it’s a good idea to pass a budget right now when we have until June 30,” Dustman said. State funding accounts for about two-thirds of the district’s revenues. A couple of directors …
Thursday, May 19, 2011
The Senate approved the measure 36-28.
Hopkins Sen. Ron Latz (DFL-District 44) is once again condemning Republican cuts—this time to public safety programs. “I think the public’s reaction is going to be very harsh,” Latz told Patch on Wednesday, the day after the measure passed 36-28. The cuts are part of the $1.7 billion omnibus judiciary and public safety finance bill, a measure put together by the committee on which Latz is ranking minority member. The bill moves money from certain targeted accounts into the state’s general fund—including $2 million from the prison work program, $5.2 million from emergency radio and $8.5 million from fire safety. The legislator said the radio shift even violates a federal mandate. A surcharge on phone bills was required to fund emergency …
Tuesday, May 3, 2011
The Hopkins legislator accuses GOP of internal inconsistency.
Hopkins Sen. Ron Latz (DFL-District 44) blames legislative delays on Republicans caught between campaign rhetoric and political realities. In a reversal of fortune, Republicans now face criticism for moving too slow on the budget process. DFLers point out that last year’s House and Senate both passed budget plans by the end of this week in the session. Just a little over a month ago, DFL lawmakers said the GOP was moving too fast to pass bills limiting the scope of government. Latz noted that the Judiciary and Public Safety Committee, on which he serves, passed its omnibus-spending bill and appointed conference committee members April 11. Its House counterpart appointed conferees April 14. Yet the conference committee hasn’t met—even if …
Monday, April 4, 2011
About a dozen local residents attended Rep. Steve Simon's gathering Sunday.
The state budget, a proposed Vikings stadium and nuclear energy were the main topics of conversation at Rep. Steve Simon’s town hall meeting Sunday. The four-term Democrat from District 44A, which encompasses Hopkins and St. Louis Park, told about a dozen people at the Depot Coffee House in Hopkins that he personally favors a combination of spending cuts and revenue increases to tackle the state's roughly $5 billion deficit. “Both the governor and the Republican majority in the legislature have budget proposals which are noticeably different.” Simon said. “Pretty much everyone knows there will be a compromise and a meeting in the middle from the two extremes.” He added that both the governor and the GOP believe they have something of a …