Last week I discussed the major tax cut plan that I am introducing in the Minnesota House of Representatives. My plan eliminates many needless taxes that are unfair and wrong. It completely eliminates the income tax on Social Security benefits, the MN Estate Tax, the State General Tax, the Sick Tax, and the Alternative Minimum Tax. It also cuts income taxes for all filers and provides income tax credits for each filer with a tax liability. However, another key piece of my bill is the gradual and complete elimination of our state income taxes and their ultimate replacement with the “Fair Tax.”
For those who are unfamiliar with the Fair Tax, it is simply a tax on goods and services. Essentially, the Fair Tax works just like a sales tax. When you go to the store and purchase something, you pay a percentage of that purchase in taxes. The tax is easily calculated, paid on the spot, and only based on the money you spend. My legislation would first, however, end all state income taxes.
My plan requires the Commissioner of Revenue to draft a plan for how Minnesota will replace our income taxes with the Fair Tax. The Commissioner of Revenue will present their plan to the Minnesota Legislature and our state legislators will get a chance to debate and amend the plan. If passed by the Minnesota Legislature, our state individual income tax, corporate franchise tax, insurance taxes, and our sales tax would be replaced with the easy, simple Fair Tax on January 1, 2024.
As a state legislator, I have authored bills to implement the Fair Tax in the past. However, this bill is the most comprehensive plan to date. More importantly though, this plan will have amazing benefits for all Minnesotans.
First, we would all see our overall tax burden decrease. With no income tax, and the elimination of several other taxes, most Minnesotans would just pay the Fair Tax on goods and services as they go about their day. No more will we need to send thousands of dollars to the state government when tax season rolls around. Just think, the headache of filing state income taxes would be gone!
In turn, this tax cut will scale back the size and scope of Minnesota government. The overcollection of our money and the accumulation of massive, unnecessary government surpluses will end. Your money will stay with you where it belongs. Additionally, whole portions of the Minnesota Department of Revenue will be cut because they will no longer need to process income tax filings.
Switching to the Fair Tax will also stabilize our tax system. When economies go through ups and downs, incomes do the same. As such, state revenue that is largely dependent on income taxes is also subjected to significant volatility. We’ve seen this just in the last few years as we went from a massive projected deficit to a record projected surplus. However, a consumer-based tax system based on individual purchases will have a more stable and reliable revenue stream.
Finally, the Fair Tax incentivizes work. Instead of taxing your earnings, the Fair Tax is just a tax on what you consume. If you don’t spend a lot of money, you will pay less in taxes. If you spend a lot of money, then you will pay more in taxes. Under the Fair Tax, the government cannot take more of your money just because you work hard and earn more. This encourages people to keep working and save their money.
I will be officially introducing this legislation next week and I am excited to announce that several of my fellow legislators have already signed onto this bill. We need real tax reform for Minnesota families, and my bill will deliver exactly that.
Throughout our state I have spoken to many Minnesotans who are concerned about the integrity of our elections. These concerns need to be addressed and we need to make sure that we have a fair and secure elections system. As such, I am the chief author of legislation to require photo ID when anyone goes to vote. Issues like these are very important to me, and election integrity has always been one of my top priorities.
One issue that many people have talked with me about is their distrust of mail-in ballots. Across our state, voters in some townships and small cities are only given one method of voting: mail-in ballots. Originally, this decision was made so that townships could save costs by not setting up polling places in locations with smaller populations. However, I have heard from many residents who are concerned about putting their ballot in the mail.
I share this concern, and I want to let my constituents know that you have other options than just returning your ballot by mail. Every mail-in ballot in Minnesota contains instructions for returning your ballot in person. These instructions will list the location of the election center where you can return your ballot in person. In most cases, your local elections center is in your county courthouse or another county government building. Even if you wait until election day, you can still return your ballot in person.
Lastly, state law provides townships and city councils in municipalities that do have mail-in only voting, to change back to in-person voting. The process involves passing a resolution at your local township or city council meeting and then coordinating with the county to go back to in-person voting. If you would like more information on how to go about this process, please contact me and I will be glad to get you the information on how to go about it.
For more information about mail ballot precincts, please see here: https://www.sos.state.mn.us/elections-voting/how-elections-work/mail-ballot-precincts/
If you have any questions about elections, mail-in ballots, or related legislation, please feel free to contact my office.