IRRRB slashes tax break for mining companies

EVELETH, Minn. (AP) — Minnesota’s taconite plants will get a smaller tax rebate than they were expecting.

The Iron Range Resources and Rehabilitation Board voted Thursday to chop a taconite production tax reimbursement nearly in half. The five plants will get nearly $5 million instead of nearly $10 million they expected this year. The money saved will go instead to public works projects on the Iron Range.

Rep. Tom Anzelc, D-Balsam Township, originally proposed completely eliminating tax break, which dates from the early 1990s and is meant to stimulate reinvestment in mining facilities. He calls it corporate welfare at a time when the mining companies are doing well.

The board voted instead to halve the rebate.

The Iron Mining Association of Minnesota says financing will now have to be re-examined for plant improvement projects.