Historic tax relief, transportation funding increase are signature accomplishments of 2017
ST. PAUL – Rep. Dean Urdahl, R-Acton Township, is touting $650 million in tax relief and a substantial increase in transportation funding as crowning achievements of the 2017 Legislature, which completed its budget work and adjourned early Friday morning.
“Two things you hear most from people in Greater Minnesota are that taxes are too high and they want our roads fixed,” Urdahl said. “This session will be remembered as one where we made great progress in both of those areas. The tax relief will benefit a wide range of citizens, but I am especially pleased to see a reduction in the Social Security collections. That will be a big help to seniors, especially those on fixed incomes.”
The House and Senate concluded a brief special session by passing the final bills that comprise the state’s 2018-19 budget. In all, the Legislature passed seven bills during a special session: taxes, transportation, state government, health and human services, K-12 education, capital investment and labor standards.
The Republican-led tax bill will mean more than $650 million in tax relief – the largest tax cut in nearly two decades – for Minnesota families in the 2018-19 biennium and roughly $750 million in tax reductions for 2020-21. This includes relief for seniors on Social Security, college graduates with student loan debt, and property tax relief for farmers and Minnesota businesses.
In addition, Republicans championed and the Legislature approved the largest investment in road and bridge infrastructure in state history, billions more for transportation in the next 10 years without an increase in the gas tax or license tab fees.
“Not only does this bill provide $300 million more for transportation over the next two years alone, but the bonding bill I authored which was approved has another $254 million in funding for transportation-related projects,” Urdahl said. “A large portion of that is for the Local Road Improvement Fund Program, which supports work such as projects on Highway 15 in McLeod County and Highway 12 to the east of our region.”
Overall, the Legislature sent 10 budget bills, the $995 million bonding bill and a labor standards bill to the governor for his signature.