Funds for African immigrants, delivery fee among new laws on the books in Minnesota

The law that has arguably drawn the most attention among the newly enumerated statutes is the enactment of a "50-cent fee on retail delivery orders of tangible goods for at least $100."

delivery fee
The Minnesota Capitol Building in St. Paul, Minn., pictured at sunrise. (Shutterstock)

The latest round of legislation passed by the Minnesota Legislature includes $1 million in funding for the African Immigrants Community Services nonprofit and an added delivery fee on retail orders.

The Minnesota House of Representatives released a list of legislation which was due to go into effect on July 1, all of which were sponsored by members of the DFL. Chief among the pieces of legislation passed during the most recent session is new spending. $23.85 million was delegated to the Department of Employment and Economic Development for “job training and economic development programs in fiscal year 2025.” Included in that spending was “$1 million to African Immigrants Community Services for workforce development for new Americans” as well as “$1 million to the Minnesota Black Chamber of Commerce for technical support to Black-owned small businesses.” Furthermore, “the law also appropriates General Fund money to support programs through Explore Minnesota Tourism,” including “$400,000 to Ka Joog for Somali community and cultural festivals and events.”

Along with economic development, Minnesota legislators authorized “new one-time spending — $37.22 million,” for “the Minnesota Reading to Ensure Academic Development (READ) Act that, per the Department of Education, aims ‘to have every child reading at or above grade level every year, beginning in kindergarten, and to support multilingual learners and students receiving special education services in achieving their individualized reading goals.’”

Other new expenditures include “$79.64 million [in] fiscal year 2025 appropriations from the Environmental and Natural Resources Trust Fund,” which “cover more than 100 projects as recommended by the Legislative-Citizen Commission on Minnesota Resources.”

However, the law that has arguably drawn the most attention among the newly enumerated statutes is the enactment of a “50-cent fee on retail delivery orders of tangible goods for at least $100.” According to the House’s report, “the fee will be generally imposed when the retail sale of the property is subject to the state general sales tax, but also it includes clothing and will not apply to prepared food and baby products. Retailers with annual sales of less than $1 million will also be exempt as will marketplace providers when facilitating the sale of a retailer that made less than $100,000 in retail sales the previous calendar year through the marketplace provider.”

This new fee, which will be directed towards transportation funding, has drawn the ire of Minnesota Republicans. House Minority Leader Lisa Demuth, R-Cold Spring, reacted to the fee by declaring, “starting today, Minnesotans will be paying more for their deliveries thanks to Democrats’ new junk delivery fee. Minnesota families are already struggling with inflation, and are being hit even harder by the $10 billion in tax and fee increases Democrats passed over the last two years.”


Evan Poellinger

Evan Poellinger, the Alpha News Summer 2024 Journalism Fellow, is a native Minnesotan with a lifelong passion for history and politics. He previously worked as a journalism intern with the American Spectator and an investigative journalism fellow with the Media Research Center. He is a graduate of College of the Holy Cross with degrees in political science and history.