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State Representative Sondra Erickson

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100 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
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For more information contact: Leah Patton 651-296-9895

Posted: 2017-03-31
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Legislative Update

Legislative Update from Rep. Sondra Erickson


Friends and Neighbors,

This week finance committees have been working overtime to complete their bills and pass them out of committee in time to meet the final policy bill deadline today. Yesterday, the House passed our major tax bill, which will provide $1.35 billion in tax relief for Minnesotans across generations, largely concentrating on aiding our over-taxed middle class.
 
Specific tax provisions include:
  • $269 million in relief for Minnesota’s senior citizens by increasing the income limit at which social security income is taxable. As a result, by 2019 nearly 284,000 senior citizen tax returns (single and married filing jointly) would be eligible to receive a tax exemption on their social security benefits with an average tax reduction of $710.

  • More than $125 million to address college affordability through a first-in-the-nation tax credit for student loan payments, along with subtractions and credits for families saving for college using 529 Savings Plans. Through the student debt tax credit, 77,500 students will receive on average a $640 reduction in their taxes.

  • $35 million for families with young children by modifying the child & dependent care credit. A family of four earning $50,000 a year will receive an additional $1,200 toward their childcare expenses.

  • $203 million in relief for hometown businesses by exempting the first $200,000 in property value from the extra tax on businesses and freezing its automatic inflator. This helps every business owner reinvest in their business, protecting 30,000 Minnesota jobs.

  • $42 million in relief for farmers by reducing the burden farmers and agriculture land owners pay for school bond referendums. Approximately 240,000 farmers could receive property tax relief to reduce their disproportionate share of school district debt service. Farms will also benefit from a measure conforming the state death tax to the federal exclusion.

Today, we passed the House transportation omnibus bill, which will dedicate $ 6 billion over the next 10 years into building roads and bridges around our state, all without raising the gas tax.
 
This bill also creates a new fund using existing tax revenue called the Transportation Priorities Fund. This fund, comprised of existing transportation-related state tax revenues, will invest $450 million in new dollars for roads and bridges.

Specific transportation provisions include:

•$25 million for the Small Cities Road Assistance program
•$300 million for Corridors of Commerce program
•$35 million for rail grade crossings
•Funding to repair or replace all 97 bridges on MnDOT's local bridge priority list
 
As I write this now, we are debating the education finance bill. I will detail the provisions in the education bill in next week's email update once the debate is complete in the House.
 
Sincerely,
 
Sondra

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