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Contact Ben Wogsland, Director of Government Relations for More Information 651.925.4022 or ben@hospitalitymn.com

Looking for seasonal workers through the H-2B Visa program?

If you plan on filing an H-2B Application for Temporary Employment Certification, make your way to the Department of Labor’s H-2B Temporary Non-agricultural Program web site. You’ll find all the information you need to make an application that may give you access to a pool of seasonal workers from abroad, including the webinar presentation they held on December 11.  The application filing window opens on January 2, 2020 for April 1, 2020 start dates.

New Septic Rules Move Forward to Give Resorts and Campgrounds More Flexibility

 

New septic rules that provide greater flexibility for resorts and campgrounds are moving forward.  In 2015, we were successful in passing legislation which directed MPCA to allow resorts and campgrounds open 180 days per year or fewer to use actual measured flow.  Building on this victory, new rules are moving forward in 2020 that allow all resorts and campgrounds this benefit when measuring their current system, as well as certain expansions to their systems.  The public comment period has now ended and the MPCA is reviewing all comments, including comments filed by Hospitality Minnesota, read them HERE. Comments are currently being reviewed by the MPCA which will then send them to Governor for approval.  Final adoption of the rule likely to conclude this spring, or June 15, 2020 at the latest.   Read HM’s position on streamlining septic regulations here: http://bit.ly/HMPositionSeptic 

 

Short-Term Rental Regulation in St. Louis and Crow Wing Counties 

These two counties are considering new regulations for short-term vacation rentals and Hospitality Minnesota has already submitted public comments http://bit.ly/HMShortTermRentalComments in both counties and have been actively advocating for members in northern Minnesota and statewide.  The St. Louis County Planning Commission met on December 12 and sent their proposal to the full board for review and future hearing. Crow Wing County officials met December 31, but delayed voting on the proposal for a future meeting.  If you are interested in getting engaged on this issue, contact ben@hospitalitymn.com.

 

How to Tax Short-Term Rental Property?

 

In a separate issue, a new debate has emerged across Minnesota about how to fairly and appropriately tax the various different models of short-term vacation rentals in our state in the aftermath of a Revenue Department Guidance this summer suggesting commercial classification if the “primary use” of certain properties is short term rental.  Our advocacy team is currently engaging with legislators, the Department of Revenue, county officials, CVBs and other partners to go to bat for our members and advocate for our hospitality and tourism industry in Minnesota.  A legislative proposal is emerging out of Cook County and we will be meeting with Senator Bakk to discuss how to strike the correct balance on this issue.  If you are interested in engaging on this issue, contact ben@hospitalitymn.com .

 

Hennepin County Food Waste Recycling Requirements for Businesses

Find the requirements here: http://bit.ly/HennepinFoodWasteRecycling

 

Appeals court rejects Polymet permits, orders DNR to hold hearings 

 

The Minnesota Court of Appeals has rejected several Polymet permits, finding that the DNR erred in the permitting process and requiring the agency to hold additional hearings.  If the DNR does not appeal the decision to the Supreme Court, the process could impose significant delays on the project.  You can read Hospitality Minnesota’s issue brief here:

http://bit.ly/HMResponsePolymetPermit

 

House appoints Andrew Carlson (D-Bloomington) to chair Property Tax Division

 

The Speaker of the House has appointed Andrew Carlson (D-Bloomington) to chair the Property Tax Division.  The previous chair, Diane Loeffler (D-Minneapolis) passed away this fall having served 8 terms. This is a critically important committee to our industry as property tax policy impacts all three sectors including issues such as the statewide property tax levy, lodging taxes and tax classification issues. More here: http://bit.ly/PropertyTaxDivisionAppointee

 

2020 Election Season Begins

       Presidential Primary Voting Begins Friday, January 17 

       Special Elections February 4 for districts 30A and 60A

       Legislator Retirements

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