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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Melissa Hortman (DFL)

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Legislative Update: Back to School Edition!

Friday, August 28, 2015

Dear neighbors,

If you’re back-to-school shopping for supplies like calculators, notebooks, pencils and more, you know those costs can add up quickly. Did you know that you can save those receipts and use them for tax breaks on your 2015 state income tax returns?

The state of Minnesota offers tax breaks for school-related expenses for Kindergarten through 12th grade students attending public, private, and home schools.

Parents can choose one of two options: a refundable K-12 education credit or the K-12 education subtraction. Both programs reduce the tax parents pay and could provide a larger refund when filing a 2015 Minnesota Individual Income Tax Return.

The tax subtraction and credit cover expenses including paper, pens and notebooks, textbooks, computer hardware and software (up to $200 for the subtraction and an additional $200 for the credit), after-school tutoring and educational summer camps, and rental or purchases of educational equipment such as calculators and musical instruments.

For more information, you can call the Minnesota Department of Revenue at (651) 296-3781 or visit their website at

Here is a short list of education-related measures passed during the 2015 legislative session:

General Education Formula: The state was able to meet school districts’ request for a 2% per pupil funding increase for the next two years. This is the amount of funding that schools requested to prevent teacher layoffs and increased class sizes.

Early Learning Scholarships: The state dedicated funds to increase the availability of early learning scholarships throughout our state, to ensure all kids have access to quality pre-K. Early learning has been proven to increase student success both in and out of the classroom.

Tyler Hill’s Sunshine Bill: This new law will help track safety incidents for our students studying abroad. This law is an important first step to ensuring we are sending our kids abroad to learn in safe environments.

If you have any questions about these measures, or other issues, please don’t hesitate contacting me. I appreciate hearing from you!

If you’d like to stop receiving these updates, some individuals have been having problems with the unsubscribe like in this email.  Please email me directly at, and I’ll make sure your email is removed from my update list. I apologize for the inconvenience.

As always, thank you for the honor of being your voice at the Capitol.


Melissa Hortman

State Representative