Recently the Minnesota House approved what was one of the top agenda items coming into the 2017 legislative session: middle class tax relief.
The proposal would reduce taxes by $1.35 billion to families and businesses who have been overtaxed for years. Well more than half of this proposal is targeted at middle-class Minnesotans.
As chairman of the Minnesota House Property Tax and Local Government Finance Division, I was pleased to play a role in crafting this tax relief proposal. Included are a number of good property tax provisions that will help those who have been unfairly burdened by government’s insatiable desire to take more money than it needs.
First, there’s tax relief for Minnesota’s farmers as they look at very steep school construction levies that are really smothering them in difficult situations. One important provision would reduce the burden farmers and agriculture land owners pay for school bond referendums. Doing so will save most Minnesota farm families thousands if not tens of thousands of dollars and will begin to level the playing field between them and someone living in town who votes for the same referendum.
We also have tax relief for every business in Minnesota that owns commercial property. This includes getting rid of the inflator on the state general tax, which is a special property tax that isn’t so special. Every business owner in Minnesota is forced to pay the state general tax on top of what they already pay in local property taxes. We also voted to eliminate a portion of this statewide tax by removing it for the first $200,000 of property value.
There’s also more relief in the form of property tax refunds for homeowners and renters, which will positively impact thousands of Minnesotans.
Senior citizens will also benefit from our tax relief bill by increasing the income limit at which Social Security income is taxable, which will help seniors living on a fixed income. It also provides refundable student loan and college saving plan credits for college students and their families and expanded education deductions and child and dependent care credits for working families.
Currently, Minnesota is exporting its wealth and we need to turn the direction around. That starts by addressing the over-taxation we are putting on the people who work so hard to make our state function. I’m pleased a bipartisan majority of House lawmakers agree and look forward to helping persuade Governor Dayton to enact necessary tax relief into law very soon.