The Asian Carp, native to Eastern Europe and Western Asia, has recently been found throughout American waters. Photo by Kate Gardiner
As Minnesota boaters and fishermen traverse our lakes and rivers this summer, it is important that we work together to impede the spread of aquatic invasive species.
Invasive species are animals, plants, or micro-organisms that are not native to a specific area. They can have harmful effect on the environment, the economy, and even human health.
An example of an aquatic invasive species in Minnesota is the Asian carp—a large, plankton-feeding fish. Currently, the Asian carp is moving northward in the Mississippi River and competing with native organisms for its source of food. This can cause a decline in the population of smaller sport fish. Asian carp also pose a potential danger to Minnesota boaters, with the ability to jump up to 10 feet out of the water when they sense a boat approaching. Often these jumping fish can land in boats injuring boaters, personal watercraft operators, and water skiers.
If you are a soldier or veteran from Minnesota who served in a combat zone or hazardous duty area during 2008, you are eligible for a refundable tax credit that could be worth hundreds of dollars. Unfortunately, that tax credit expires on October 15, 2012, and thousands of soldiers and veterans who qualify have not yet taken advantage of this benefit.
As part of a tax credit that was enacted in 2006, the Minnesota Department of Revenue is paying $59 per month served in a combat zone or hazardous duty area during 2008 (the credit extends beyond 2008, but the credit that applies to 2008 is the part that will expire in October). To be eligible, individuals must have served in a combat zone or hazardous duty area at some point in 2008, and Minnesota must have been his or her home state at the time.
Minnesota Department of Revenue Commissioner Myron Frans is urging all eligible Minnesota veterans to claim this tax credit, as well as for anyone who knows an eligible veteran to pass this information along to him or her. The Department of Revenue has been working to promote information about the tax credit, including promoting it at the recent “Heroes Day” celebration in Minneapolis, but Commissioner Frans says they can use your help in ensuring as many veterans as possible receive this tax benefit as a thank-you from the state of Minnesota to those who have served overseas.