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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Peggy Scott (R)

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Friday, July 1, 2016
ANDOVER, MN—July 1 marks the beginning of the state's new fiscal year, and what would have been the start of more than $800 million in tax relief for middle-class families over the next three years if not for Governor Dayton's veto of HF848, the omnibus tax bill. The bill included tax relief for college graduates paying off student loans, families saving for college, veterans, teachers, homeowners, families paying for childcare, and more.
The bill passed with the support of 89 percent of the legislature, but was vetoed by Governor Dayton over a one-word drafting error. Dayton has since refused to call a special session to pass a fixed tax bill, demanding millions in additional borrowing despite previous promises not to hold up tax relief for "other considerations."
Rep. Peggy Scott, R-Andover, issued the following statement urging Governor Dayton to call a special session to deliver overdue tax relief to middle-class families.
"Since we adjourned from session, I've heard from numerous constituents who just want the governor to set aside politics, and do what's right for our state," said Scott. "It's a quick fix to provide $800 million of tax relief for middle-class families; let's get this done."
Key provisions include (over the next three years):
  • $110 million in tax relief for college graduates paying off student loans through a refundable tax credit up to $1,000, the first of its kind in the country. In 2016, about 52,300 graduates would be eligible for the credit.
  • $49 million in tax relief for families who contribute to 529 plans to save for their children's college costs. An estimated 21,000 families would claim the credit in tax year 2016. An estimated 40,400 families would claim the subtraction (some taxpayers would be eligible for both).
  • $146 million in tax relief for every small business in Minnesota by exempting the first $100,000 of commercial-industrial property.
  • $13 million in tax relief for Minnesota veterans by raising the income eligibility threshold, and increasing the total credit from $750 to $1000.
  • $150 million in tax relief for working families by expanding the working family tax credit. Nearly 386,000 families would be affected in tax year 2016.
  • $32 million to reduce the cost of childcare by expanding the childcare tax credit, families could earn a tax credit up to a $960. For tax year 2016, the number of families receiving the credit would be 41,400.
  • Federal conformity provisions that allow Minnesotans to deduct higher education tuition expenses, mortgage insurance premiums, classroom expenses for teachers, charitable giving (for seniors), and more.