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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Joe McDonald (R)

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Initial round of tax relief signed into law

Friday, January 13, 2017
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Rep. Joe McDonald, R-Delano, addresses the media during Gov. Mark Dayton’s ceremonial enactment of a bill providing nearly $22 million in tax relief Friday at the Capitol in St. Paul.

 

ST. PAUL – Rep. Joe McDonald, R-Delano, was at the Capitol on Friday to participate in a special ceremony as Gov. Mark Dayton signed into law $21.7 million in tax relief by enacting the first bill the Legislature sent to him this session.

McDonald is vice chairman of the House Taxes Committee. His message to the assembled press included a bipartisan tone as he highlighted the fact tax relief was enacted a little more than one week into the 2017 session.

“In this state, politicians are accused of not getting done on time and not working together,” McDonald said. “The session has just begun and we already have accomplished some great things for Minnesotans, with both sides of the aisle working together with the governor, and made a great day for Minnesota families and businesses. That’s the priority.”

Specifically, the bill (H.F. 2) provides tax relief by bringing the state’s tax code into compliance with federal provisions. State officials indicated the bill needed to be enacted in the very early stages of the session in order for citizens to see the benefits during this year’s tax season. The House expedited the bill process and approved it with bipartisan support on Jan. 6, just the third day of the session.

“We collaborated to get it done quickly and in timely fashion,” McDonald said. “One thing I want to make clear is that by no means have we crossed the finish line on tax relief. In fact, this is just an initial step. The good, bipartisan work on this tax bill should inspire us as we continue looking for other ways of providing tax relief for Minnesotans.”

Key provisions of the bill include:

  • Providing deductions for higher education expenses

  • Providing deductions for teacher classroom expenses up to $250

  • Excluding compensation from taxable income for those who were wrongfully incarcerated

  • Eliminating the need for two sets of depreciation schedules for those who purchase work equipment

  • Providing an itemized deduction for mortgage insurance premiums

  • Excluding from gross income loan forgiveness on home foreclosures

  • Allowing the tax paid on high-cost employer health care coverage to be claimed as an itemized deduction

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