Three local projects are among several to receive state funding with passage of a a jobs, local projects, and economic development package Thursday by the Minnesota Senate and House.

More than $113 million in state funding for public works projects throughout the Iron Range, Duluth, and northeastern Minnesota will be funded by bonding for public assets, infrastructure, and housing, along with supplemental budgeting for the Department of Public Safety and Department of Corrections, and several tax provisions that will help small businesses and farmers.

Local projects

  • $950,000 - St. Louis County for the Voyageur Country ATV project; A grant for design, right of way acquisition, and construction of Phase I of the trail connections in the areas of Orr, Ash River, Kabetogama Township, and International Falls to the trail system.
  • $1.8 million - International Falls-Koochiching County Airport Commission; Provides the non federal share of a project at Falls International Airport for land acquisition, predesign, design, and reconstruction of the runway, taxiway, and apron.
  • $3 million - Koochiching County; CSAH 24 Rail Grade Separation; A grant to Koochiching County to acquire land for and to predesign, design, engineer, and construct a rail grade crossing separation where County State-Aid Highway 24 crosses Canadian National railroad tracks near the cities of Ranier and International Falls.

Senator Tom Bakk (DFL-Cook), Senator Erik Simonson (DFL-Duluth), and Senator David Tomassoni (DFL-Chisholm) released the following statement:

“As Minnesota continues to recover from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is more important than ever that we take the steps necessary to support Minnesotans get back on their feet and back to work. The passage of this bill is the best step we can take in providing both short-term economic stimulus and long-term investment in those critical needs essential for a high quality of life in our communities, like our roads and bridges, wastewater treatment, affordable housing, and other public assets like our colleges and universities and parks and trails. This bill is an investment in our state that will save and create thousands of jobs and help Minnesotans in every corner of the state.”

Gov. Tim Walz and Lt. Governor Peggy Flanagan released the following statements applauding the bipartisan passage of the Bonding Bill.  

“This bonding bill is a smart investment that will create thousands of good-paying jobs, deliver improvements to local projects throughout Minnesota, and make our state a better place to live,” said Walz. “It’s been a long journey. By finally coming together and working across the aisle, Minnesota proved once again that if Washington won’t lead—we will.”

“I’m grateful to see the Minnesota Legislature has passed a strong and equitable bonding bill that includes a $30 million investment in projects in Black and Indigenous communities and communities of color,” said Flanagan. “Many Minnesotans across the state have worked for years to bring the investments in this bill—and the jobs that will follow—to their communities. Today, that hard work paid off, and we can all be proud.”

Invest in Minnesota Coalition

Members of the Invest in Minnesota Coalition applauded legislators today, for passing a bill to conform to section 179 expensing. Section 179 of the federal tax code dictates when businesses can deduct the cost of purchasing certain equipment. In 2019, Minnesota conformed to some federal tax reforms, but not many of the expensing provisions. This put small businesses and farmers at a disadvantage and hit many with retroactive bills.

“Now more than ever, it’s critical to support Minnesota small businesses, as we all continue to feel the impact of the pandemic,” said Doug Loon, President of the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce, a founding member of the Invest in Minnesota Coalition. “Thanks to the elected officials who took this step to invest in the employees and communities which these businesses and farms support. This helps lay the foundation to help Minnesota’s economy recover and grow, and retain and create jobs.”

  • Aligning state and federal tax codes for section 179 expensing would:
  • Help small businesses and farmers reinvest in Minnesota to help grow our economy.
  • Fix retroactive tax increases.
  • Improve Minnesota’s competitiveness as most states, including all of our neighbors, have conformed.
  • Reduce tax compliance costs and complexity.
  • Prevent Minnesota taxpayers from paying more in state taxes than they do on their federal income tax returns.

The Invest in Minnesota Coalition consists of over 70 business and agriculture organizations aligning Minnesota’s income tax with the federal rules to encourage greater business investment in Minnesota.

Invest in Minnesota coalition partners include: AgCountry Farm Credit Services, AgriGrowth, Arrowhead Manufacturers and Fabricators Association, Associated Builders and Contractors of Minnesota and North Dakota, Associated General Contractors of Minnesota, Builders Association of Minnesota, Central Minnesota Manufacturers Association, Compeer Financial, Cooperative Network, Hospitality Minnesota, Housing First Minnesota, Lakes Area Manufacturers Alliance, MetalCasters of Minnesota, Minnesota Automobile Dealers Association, Minnesota Farm Bureau, Minnesota Chamber of Commerce, Minnesota Corn Growers Association, Minnesota Grocers Association, Minnesota Mechanical Contractors Association, Minnesota Petroleum Marketers Association, Minnesota Pork Producers Association, Minnesota Precision Manufacturing Association, Minnesota Retailers Association, Minnesota Rural Counties, Minnesota Society of CPAs, Minnesota Trucking Association, Minnesota Turkey Growers Association, NFIB, Pioneer Equipment, Printing Industry Midwest, and the Tri-State Manufacturers’ Association.

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