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Tax bill adds $10M a year for invasive species

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - The tax bill signed by Gov. Mark Dayton provides an extra $10 million a year for local government programs to fight the spread of aquatic invasive species.

Counties and lake organizations say having that consistent funding source will give their efforts a big boost.

Local invasive species programs vary widely across Minnesota. Some counties fund aggressive programs with help from lake association fees and taxes from lake improvement districts, while others have nothing. That scattershot approach has been a weak link in the fight to stop the lake-to-lake spread of zebra mussels, Eurasian watermilfoil and other damaging species.

The new money will go to counties based on the number of boat landings and watercraft parking spaces, targeting counties with the most heavily used lakes.

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