The House continues focusing its efforts on committee work at this point in the session. One thing I am noticing is there seems to be a rather large number of local-option sales tax bills proposed around the state. We had several in the Property Tax Committee alone this week.
These local-option sales tax bills may be beneficial when they address a community “need.” But it might be a stretch to say some of the proposals we have heard are truly necessary.
I encourage residents to keep an eye on local-option sales taxes their jurisdictions may be proposing so they can make informed decisions at the polls. I am not aware of any local-option tax proposals coming up in District 2B but will pass along any necessary information as warranted.
In other news, the House needs to pick up the pace on passing legislation to prevent businesses throughout Minnesota from owing state taxes on forgivable emergency loans recently issued by the federal government.
The Tax Foundation reports Minnesota is the only state in the Upper Midwest that has yet to exempt forgiven Paycheck Protection Plan loans from state income taxes. These loans were offered as lifelines for businesses to keep employees on the payroll and meet other financial obligations amid COVID-19 restrictions. More than 102,000 Minnesota businesses received them.
Our state has a projected $1.6 billion surplus, so the majority can’t use the bottom line as an excuse to not get this done. Do they really want to skim tax dollars from emergency funding sent to struggling businesses? I sure hope not, because that would be government at its worst.
We need to fix this problem sooner rather than later. The Minnesota Senate Tax Committee on Tuesday moved a bill that exempts PPP loans from state taxes. There is no reason for the House to hold things up and leave people’s livelihoods up in the air.
The governor also should step up and demand this bill come to his desk. He seems to like his unilateral powers, so how about using them to actually help businesses instead of hurting them? The House majority is so beholden to his throne it may pass the bill immediately.
Workers in our state already have been put through too much. Let’s help them by approving a clean bill that shows bipartisan support for our business community.