The Free Press, Mankato, MN

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January 28, 2013

Changes in sales tax could be windfalls for some cities

(Continued)

While most of the taxes were initially connected to a specific capital project, the Legislature conceivably could stretch their purpose and longevity. Dayton's administration was leaving that up to lawmakers, said Janelle Tummel, a Revenue Department spokeswoman.

One wrinkle involves the constitutional amendment voters passed in 2008 to raise the state sales tax for specific programs. That amendment permits lawmakers to shave the tax rate if the sales tax base is expanded — so the revenues match the projected income under the prior arrangement.

The added 0.375 percent tax produces hundreds of millions of dollars per year dedicated to programs protecting drinking water, enhancing wetlands and habitat, boosting the arts and otherwise preserving Minnesota's environmental and cultural legacy. Dayton has recommended slicing the rate connected with the Legacy Amendment to 0.234 percent.

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