Legislation that would give Oakdale extra time to get development going on the Tanner’s Lake redevelopment site was vetoed Friday by Gov. Mark Dayton as part of the Omnibus Tax Bill.
Current law gives the city until July 1, 2013, to certify a tax increment financing (TIF) district on land that once housed Blackies Eatery & Saloon and Toby’s on the Lake.
The city was hoping to get that extended to Dec. 31, 2017, according to the text of the Senate bill.
City Administrator Craig Waldron told the Senate Taxes Committee in February that the slow economy prevented a potential developer from moving forward with an apartment and restaurant proposal, and that the city is now working with a new developer on a similar plan.
After the veto, Waldron said he’s still holding out hope that the provision will somehow make it into law.
“We’ve just been told that Governor Dayton was supportive of the economic measures in (the tax bill) and that there’s a real possibility of a second tax bill coming through, so at this point we’re not giving up our efforts,” he said. “It’s not over until it’s over.”
In his veto letter, Dayton said, “I am most willing to consider initiatives that assist local communities with economic development.”
Sen. Chuck Wiger (DFL-Maplewood) said he expects the tax bill to be revised and sent to the governor again.
Rep. Nora Slawik (DFL-Maplewood) said she was told a new tax bill wouldn’t be forthcoming, however, “as a senior member, I know, never say never.”
She’s not as confident now as she once was that the TIF extension will become law this session, she said.
“I was feeling 90/10, now I’m down to more 60/40,” she said. “I’m very concerned.”
As an alternative to the tax bill, Slawik said, it’s also possible that the provision could be tacked on to a different “vehicle bill,” such as a stadium bill.