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State Representative Jenifer Loon

449 State Office BuildingState Office Building
100 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
651-296-7449

For more information contact: Andy Post 651-296-5491

Posted: Jul 16 2013 1:01PM
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LEGISLATIVE UPDATE

Update from Rep. Jenifer Loon


Dear Neighbors,

I hope you are enjoying your summer now that it has finally arrived. The 2013 legislative session has concluded and many changes to state laws that were passed took effect on July 1. The state also closed the books on the 2013 fiscal year with positive news, which ended June 30. Please read below for more information on these issues and other news.

HIGHLIGHTS IN THIS UPDATE:

  • Budget Surplus Benefits Schools
  • New Laws and Taxes
  • Stanley Cup in Eden Prairie
  • Relay for Life Another Success

Budget Surplus Benefits Schools

Minnesota Management and Budget officials announced last week that the state has brought in $463 million more revenue than estimated in the 2013 February Forecast. June 2013 was the final month operating under the Republican budget, passed in 2011, which contained no tax increases. The surplus revenue collected will go directly to Minnesota’s schools by paying down the existing school shift owed to them.

In 2009 and 2011, the legislature “shifted” money intended for education in order to balance the budget, which delayed payment of some funds to school districts across Minnesota. Thanks to greater than expected job and economic growth, extra revenue was received by the state over the last two years that paid most of this outstanding shift down. Had the state passed very large spending increases in 2011, this outcome may have been much different.

The 2014-2015 budget began on July 1 and contains higher taxes to pay for increased spending. It is my hope that these new burdens on hardworking taxpayers and businesses do not slow down the great economic progress we’ve seen these last two years.

New Laws and Taxes

I would like to briefly outline some of the new laws and taxes that began on July 1.

  • Small businesses that file as S-Corps and joint couples earning more than $250,000 will see an income tax rate increase of 25% from 7.85% to 9.85%.
  • The tobacco tax was increased on packs of cigarettes by $1.60 per pack, going from $1.23 to $2.83 per pack. Part of this revenue will be used to shore up funding for the Vikings stadium which has fallen short.
  • A new digital downloads sales tax of 6.85% is now in place for sites such as Amazon and iTunes
  • There is a new sales tax on business and farm equipment repairs as well as telecommunications equipment for commercial use (raising over $200 million).
  • Large companies will see a higher tax bill due to more stringent corporate tax rules (raising $171 million).
  • Families owning property will be impacted by a new estate (gift) tax, costing taxpayers another $55 million.

The U of M and MNSCU colleges and universities will see a two-year tuition freeze due to increased funding for higher education, but the U of M has some progress to make in regards to administrative overhead costs. Some Minnesota drivers will also see higher driver’s license fees starting next year in certain counties because of a wheelage tax provision passed this year.

Stanley Cup in Eden Prairie

E.P. native and current Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Nick Leddy was in the Twin Cities last Friday for his 24 hour time with the Stanley Cup. The turnout at the Eden Prairie Community Center to see Nick was huge and the media took several photos you can view here. We are so proud of Nick who, just four years ago, was part of the Eden Prairie Boys Hockey state championship team. Nick was named Minnesota’s Mr. Hockey in 2009 and I was honored to pay tribute to him and the entire team on the floor of the House of Representatives (photo below). Congratulations Nick!

Rep. Loon pays tribute to Eden Prairie’s State Champion Boys Hockey Team, 2009

Relay for Life Another Success

The American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life was held last Friday night at the Eden Prairie High School Stadium. The Relay is the world’s largest walk to end cancer and this year’s 16 teams successfully raised $37,954! As a past participant in our Relay, I am thankful for the support of our community towards this great cause. Due to weather, the event was cut short, so there is still time to donate online by visiting their site here.

As always, thanks for taking the time to read this update.  Should you have questions or comments regarding this update, I hope you will take a moment to send them to me--I enjoy hearing from you. 

Sincerely,

Jenifer Loon

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