GMNP joins forces on letters to conference committees

This session the GMNP has been working closely with the Minnesota Chamber, the League of Minnesota Cities, and the Coalition of Greater Minnesota Cities (CGMC) on workforce housing issues. This week, we joined forces with on a jointly signed letter that outlines the various workforce housing proposals that our organizations support and shares our hopes that this issue will be a priority during conference committee negotiations. The letter was sent to the chairs of the conference committee and relevant staff members at the House, Senate, DEED, MHFA and Governor’s Office.

GMNP President Ann Goebel and CGMC President Sara Carlson also jointly sent a letter to members of the Tax Conference Committee that describes our organizations’ top goals for the final tax bill:

  1. A $45.5 million increase in Local Government Aid (LGA) funding.
  2. A workforce housing tax credit funded at $6 million a year in FYs 2018 and 2019.
  3. Improvements to the Greater Minnesota Internship Tax Credit so that it can be used by more students and employers.
  4. A $100,000 statewide property tax exemption for businesses.

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Meet with your legislators over Easter/Passover break

The Legislature’s Easter-Passover break begins today and legislators will not return to the Capitol until Tuesday, April 18. Since many legislators will be back in their hometowns during the break, it provides a great opportunity to meet with your House and Senate members. We encourage you to set up a time to have a cup of coffee with them during the break. You can use this GMNP informational packet to discuss our top issues.

It would be ideal if you are able to discuss all of the GMNP’s economic development priorities, but if you are crunched for time, please be sure to at least ask your legislators to support the following issues in the final weeks of session:

If you have any questions or need additional information, please contact GMNP Executive Director Dan Dorman at dan@gmnp.org.

ACTION ALERT – Urge the Senate to include GMNP’s workforce housing tax credit in its tax bill!

The Minnesota Senate is expected to unveil its tax bill on Wednesday. At this point, we are cautiously optimistic that the bill will include the GMNP’s workforce housing tax credit proposal (SF 785, authored by Sen. Goggin), but we need you make an extra push!

Action — Legislators need to hear from YOU!
It is critical that GMNP members and their affiliates call or email Senate Tax Committee Chair Roger Chamberlain, Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka and your own senator by no later than this TUESDAY AFTERNOON and urge them to include the workforce housing tax credit in their tax bill. Let them know that:

  • The workforce housing shortage is one of the biggest obstacles to economic growth in Greater Minnesota.
  • The workforce housing tax credit (as described in SF 785) is needed to help jump-start the development and construction of middle-income housing in Greater Minnesota.

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Omnibus jobs bills include GMNP priorities

The Senate and House released their omnibus jobs bills this week, and both bills include several economic development priorities for the GMNP. The Senate bill can be found here and the House bill is here.

Here is a rundown on how the our priorities fare:

  • Greater Minnesota Business Development Public Infrastructure (BDPI) Grant Program
    • Senate bill: $1.3 million for FYs 2018-21
    • House bill: $1.3 million for FYs 2018-2020 (excluding an earmark for FY 2018)
  • Workforce housing
    • Senate bill: $3 million a year for the DEED Workforce Housing Program for FYs 2018-21 (this program, which the CGMC/GMNP supported when it was established in 2014, has created 327 market rate units–which many Greater Minnesota communities need–with only $6 million in funding)
    • House bill: $4 million for FY 2018 for a workforce housing grant program targeted at communities with low vacancy rates
  • Job Creation Fund
    • Senate bill: $8 million with adjustments to ensure Greater Minnesota businesses get access to the fund
    • House bill: $5 million a year for FY2018-19 and $6.5 million for 2020-21 focused on counties with an annual employment rate equal to or greater than the state average
  • Minnesota Investment Fund
    • Senate bill: $12.5 million a year for FYs 2018-19 and $13.5 million for 2020-21
    • House bill: $12 million in FY 2018 (with $4.7 million in earmarks) and $11 million in FY 2019-21
  • Job Training Incentive Program
    • Senate bill: $900,000 a year for FYs 2018-19
    • House bill: $1.36 million for FY 2018, $2.36 million for FY 2019, and $900,000 a year in 2020-21
  • Border-to-Border Broadband Development Grant Program
    • Senate bill: $10 million a year in 2018-19
    • House bill: $7 million in FY 2018