The 2016 legislative session ended Sunday night with a flurry as the House passed a tax relief bill, a supplemental budget bill that included additional tax relief, and a bonding bill that would spend $700 million in Minnesota’s roads and bridges.
The tax bill passed by the House and Senate this year provides $801 million in tax relief over the next three years with more than half a billion in ongoing, permanent tax relief. Included in the bill are provisions for Minnesota farmers, college graduates paying off student loan debt, tax relief for small businesses, tax credits for working families with children, as well as a childcare tax credit.
These are good initiatives, however I am disappointed that we were unable to convince the Senate to relieve the burden on our senior citizens by eliminating the income tax on social security.
Nevertheless, while the tax bill is much smaller than myself and my colleagues in the House passed last year, I am happy that we were able to get the Senate to agree to some form of tax relief that will positively impact Minnesotans across the state.
In addition to the tax bill, we passed a supplemental bill that brings more tax relief for Minnesotans. Notable provisions in the bill include the exemption of military veteran pensions from state income tax for 18,000 Minnesota veterans, an additional Angel Investor Tax Credit to encourage investments in Minnesota businesses and a tax credit for parents of still-born children.
Finally, the House passed a bonding bill late Sunday evening that would have invested $700 million in road and bridge infrastructure improvements.
After passage in the House, the bill was sent to the Senate where they were expected to pass the legislation. Instead of passing the bill, the Senate backed out of their agreement with the House and added an amendment that expanded taxing authority in the Twin Cities for light rail transit projects. Because of this, the bill stalled and did not pass the Senate.
It remains to be seen whether or not the governor will call a special session to pass this bill as pressure mounts from legislative leaders and outside groups. I will make sure to keep you posted as details emerge.
As always, please be sure to contact me if you have questions or comments regarding this issue or any other matter before the legislature. I can be reached by phone at 651-296-9918 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Have a great weekend,