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Posted: Apr 29 2015 7:41PM
RELEASE: Wills, Minnesota House approve tax relief for Minnesota families
Middle-class families, farmers, seniors, veterans, college students all benefit from $2 billion in tax relief
ST. PAUL, MN—The Minnesota House approved the omnibus House Tax bill Wednesday with bipartisan support on a 74-58 vote. Representative Anna Wills, R-Apple Valley, issued the following statement regarding the bill:
"This bill focuses on providing much-needed tax relief for middle-class families," Wills said. "I'm proud to have worked on provisions in this bill that will help families save for college and reduce student debt, help 4-H kids raise money at fundraising events, and help veterans get jobs. Most importantly, this bill will help families keep more of their hard-earned money. Families, college students, veterans, seniors, and farmers all stand to see tax relief under this great proposal."
Highlights of the tax bill include:
• 2,045,000 Minnesotans could receive relief through a NEW state version of the personal or dependent exemption on tax returns equal to 25 percent of the federal exemption.
• 366,500 aging adults living on fixed income could receive relief from the phasing-out of the tax on social security.
• 240,000 farmers could receive relief through a property tax credit that reduces their disproportionate share of school district debt service.
• 130,000 families with pre-kindergarteners could receive relief through the expansion of the education deduction to include pre-kindergarten expenses.
• 109,500 college students could receive student loan debt relief through a NEW tax credit for principal and interest loan payments on student loans.
Representative Wills was the chief author of HF 1479, which was included in the omnibus tax bill. The Wills provision brings back tax incentives for families who are saving money for college through 529 plans in the form of either a refundable tax credit or a tax deduction. This tax incentive was eliminated several years ago during tougher budget times. "The more people save for college, the less debt they will carry upon graduation," Wills added, "It's my hope this bill can play a small part in helping families and students save for their education."
Also included in the bill is HF 412, another bill chief authored by Rep. Wills. This bill extends the tax exemption for non-profit groups, such as 4-H, when they are fundraising at events. This allows them to use their profits to help more low-income kids be able to participate who wouldn't otherwise be able to.
Representative Wills was the chief author of HF 10, a version of which was included in the omnibus tax bill. This bill is the Veterans Hiring Tax Credit bill Rep. Wills has been championing since 2013 and is aimed at reducing the unemployment rate for our servicemen and women here in Minnesota and reducing the tax burden on our businesses.
While the civilian and veteran unemployment rate have both fallen in the past year, the veteran unemployment rate remains higher than the civilian population. In addition, with operations ending in Iraq and Afghanistan, hundreds or thousands of additional veterans will be coming home, begin the process of transitioning back to civilian life, and will be looking to find new employment.
The version of HF 10 that was included in the omnibus tax bill requires the Commissioner of Revenue to report information to the legislature on providing a tax credit for employers who hire military veterans and draft legislation for a tax credit that would take effect in tax year 2016. "This is a win-win-win proposal as it aims to reduce unemployment, reduce the tax burden on businesses, and encourage veterans to retire from the military as tax-paying citizens here in Minnesota," Wills concluded.
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