Minnesota Governor Tim Walz is proposing a $49 billion budget for the biennium. The plan includes a 20 cent-per-gallon increase in the state gas tax to pay for roads, bridges and mass transit. Minnesota Agriculture Commissioner Thom Petersen says there is a lot of good things for farmers in this budget. “For example, in our budget we are putting more money into trade. We recognize the markets we lost in China and we’re trying to address those issues.” In regards to Section 179 expensing, the budget plan would bring the state into conformity with federal tax law. There’s money to protect Minnesota farmers from threats like Palmer amaranth and African Swine Fever. The farm advocate program is beefed up in the Walz proposal and there’s funding for broadband. Walz is also proposing a $50 per acre buffer tax credit. “Whether you liked the buffer bill or not, one thing he (Walz) heard on the campaign trail was the lack of compensation for farmers and this is Governor Walz’s attempt to right that ship.” Feedlot permitting fees through the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency would increase, but the bump would be delayed until the 2022-2023 biennium because of the current farm economy.
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