Environment and Natural Resources Policy and Finance Committee Vote / March 18, 2015

HF 1707: Bill to require that funds dedicated for the environment be used for “in lieu of property tax” payments to local governments

H.F. 1707 would use dedicated Legacy Amendment and Lottery funds to pay certain local government aid that has traditionally been paid for out of state general funds. Minnesota has two constitutionally dedicated funds for conservation and the environment: a portion of lottery funds and funds from the Outdoor Heritage Fund created by the Clean Water, Land & Legacy Amendment. These funds are constitutionally required to be used to protect, enhance, or restore Minnesota’s habitat and natural resources.

This bill would require that these dedicated funds be used to pay certain local government aid. Counties receive “payments in lieu of property taxes” (PILT) for land acquired for natural resource purposes. These PILT payments are unrestricted general operating funds for roads, administration, and libraries. The Minnesota Attorney General’s office has questioned the constitutionality of attempts to use dedicated funds to pay this kind of general government aid.

What Would Happen?

The bill advances to the House Tax committee.

The bill does not advance and dedicated funds are not used for local government aid.

How The Committee Voted

The bill advances to the House Tax committee.


Members At The Time Of The Vote

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