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Minnesota budget deal: Local property owners won't have to fund DMC costs

Minnesota budget deal: Local property owners won't have to fund DMC costs

(THE MED CITY BEAT) - Property owners in Rochester will be spared from covering Destination Medical Center administrative costs under a deal announced Wednesday by Gov. Mark Dayton. 

In a statement, the governor said he has reached a final budget deal with leaders in the divided Minnesota Legislature. Lawmakers may return for a special session as soon as Friday to vote on the remaining budget bills.

 
 

The governor said the deal will prevent a looming government shutdown:

The sign of a true compromise is that no one is happy with it. Proponents and opponents of various policies across the political spectrum will be as unhappy with certain features as we, who ultimately had to accept them to avoid another government shutdown, the indefinite layoffs of 9,500 state employees, and severe disruptions of important public services.

The final budget will give Rochester the ability to tap into a general sales tax and a hospitality tax to cover DMC administrative costs, says a report by the business newspaper Finance and Commerce.

The provision was co-authored by Sen. Carla Nelson (R) and Rep. Kim Norton (D), both Rochester lawmakers. Once the bill passes, the city will be able to count administrative and planning expenses toward its $128 million contribution to the 20-year, $6 billion initiative.

 
 

Nelson praised the budget deal in a statement to the Post-Bulletin:

Obviously, I'm rejoicing. I think all Rochester taxpayers will be rejoicing. The fact we can now use our existing sales tax dollars instead of Rochester property tax dollars to pay for the planning costs of DMC is a win.

Fees associated with the Economic Development Agency and the DMC Corporation are projected to be $21 million over the next five years. 

The city council voted in favor of a 0.25 percent sales tax increase in a meeting in March. The extra tax will go into effect at the start of next year. 

The DMC Corporation Board approved the first two proposals — Broadway at Center and the Chateau Theatre — as DMC projects in April.

The first hint of a budget deal came Tuesday night when House Speaker Kurt Daudt (R) posted this Tweet:

 
 

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(Cover graphic: DMC Development Plan)

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