Minnesota House of Representatives


State Representative JoAnn Ward

231 State Office BuildingState Office Building
100 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.

For more information contact: Gina Vega 651-296-5526

Posted: 2017-01-19
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Legislative Update

Legislative Update- Tax filing, Perpich & Town Hall Information

Dear Neighbors,

I hope you’re having a good week.  Below I’ve provided information on tax filing, a Perpich status update and details for my town hall meeting this Saturday.  Please let me know if I can provide any assistance.   


The state individual income tax filing season will open on January 23, 2017; the same day as the Internal Revenue Service.

The filing deadline to submit 2016 tax returns is Monday, April 18, 2017, rather than the traditional April 15 date. This is also the same day as the Internal Revenue Service.

Here is additional information from the MN Department of Revenue on filing your taxes:

Electronic Filing and Direct Deposit
Choosing electronic filing and direct deposit is the most secure way to get your refund. Visit our website to learn more about your electronic filing and free filing options for those who qualify.

Direct deposit is an easy and convenient way to get your refund. You can include your banking information on your tax return and get your refund deposited into your bank account. Direct deposit is available to you whether you file your return electronically or by mail. Check out our website to learn more about the benefits of choosing direct deposit.

Voter Registration
Minnesota law requires that individual income tax return forms and instruction booklets include voter registration forms. This year, taxpayers using Minnesota-certified electronic filing software will see a new message prompting eligible voters to register to vote online at the Minnesota Secretary of State’s website.

Fraud Prevention
Protecting Minnesotan’s personal information means refunds may take longer than in prior years because of the increase in attempted refund fraud. Don’t spend your refund until you see the money in your bank account.

Visit our website to learn more about our efforts to protect your information.

Track Your Refund
You can track your refund by using our Where’s My Refund? system.

Free Tax Help
You may qualify for free tax preparation help from IRS-certified volunteers at locations across Minnesota for your federal and state income tax returns. Qualified taxpayers are age 60 or older, have a disability, speak limited or no English, or have income less than $54,000 per year.

Most free tax preparation sites are open Feb. 1 - April 15. Visit our website to find free tax preparation sites near you.


A legislative audit report was released today showing that the Perpich Center has failed to resolve prior audit findings.  You can read more about the audit report here.

I was glad to learn that last week, Governor Dayton appointed 9 new and experienced members of the 15-member Perpich Board of Directors.  The newly constructed board is scheduled to meet on February 9 for their annual meeting to prepare a strategic plan for the Perpich Center for the Arts.

I am hopeful the new board will bring new energy and focus on building a strong agency to address the needs of art education for students in Minnesota.


I hope you’ll be able to join Representative Lillie, Senators Wiger and Kent and myself for a town hall meeting this Saturday to discuss the 2017 legislative session.  Below are the details:

DATE: Saturday, January 21, 2017

TIME: 11:00 a.m.-Noon

LOCATION: Maplewood City Hall Council Chamber

I look forward to our discussion and listening to any questions or input.  All are welcome.

Please always feel free to contact me on any issue you care about.  I appreciate your feedback.


JoAnn Ward

Minnesota House of Representatives  ·   100 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. Saint Paul, MN   55155   ·   Webmaster@house.mn