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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Dave Lislegard (DFL)

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RELEASE: Range DFL Legislators Call Out Republican Proposal to Send Mining Tax Dollars Outside the Iron Range

Friday, February 16, 2024

[AURORA, MN] — Today, Representative Dave Lislegard (DFL-Aurora) and Senator Grant Hauschild (DFL-Hermantown) called on Republicans to retract their proposal to send taconite tax dollars to non-Iron Range communities of Cromwell, Moose Lake, and Willow River. Senate File 3799, introduced by Senator Jason Rarick (R-Pine City) would add language to the statute establishing the Taconite Assistance Area (TAA) to expand the region to the Cromwell, Moose Lake, and Willow River School Districts. 

By expanding the TAA, the newly added communities and school districts outside the Iron Range would be eligible for appropriations of limited Taconite tax proceeds collected and distributed by the Iron Range Resources and Rehabilitation Board (IRRRB). The result would mean less funding staying on the Iron Range and rather an outsourcing of mining tax dollars outside the Iron Range. 

“I’ve spent my entire career fighting for mining and our local communities on the Iron Range," said Representative Dave Lislegard. “From my initial layoff at LTV to my time as a local Range City Councilor, Mayor, and now State Representative, I’ve made it my mission to protect the core Iron Range. This proposal is a direct threat to our region, and we need every community member, local elected leader, and mining stakeholder to call this out for what it is. A robber baron proposal to steal our communities' money. This proposal will never have a chance as long as Senator Hauschild and I are representing the Range.”

Senator Hauschild added, “Make no mistake, there is a concerted effort to come after our mining tax dollars. Nearby politicians are salivating at the idea of taking what is rightfully the Iron Range’s money for themselves and we cannot let that happen. Past Iron Range Legislators from Senator Doug Johnson to Representative Tommy Rukavina have warned about this happening for decades and now we have a real Republican proposal that would do it. I will continue to call this out because it is a direct threat to our Iron Range communities.”