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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Steve Green (R)

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Legislative Update (4-24-15)

Friday, April 24, 2015

Dear Neighbors,

The House debated and approved its Transportation Policy and Finance omnibus bill on Tuesday. This bill, which passed on a bipartisan 73-59 vote, is the major component to our comprehensive, future oriented, and common sense approach to addressing our state’s transportation needs. In total, our approach invests nearly $7 billion over the next decade without raising taxes.

Our plan will repair or replace 15,500 lane miles and 330 bridges across the state by making the following investments:

 

  • $4.03 billion for state roads
  • $1.44 billion for county roads
  • $583 million for municipal roads
  • $282 million for small cities under 5,000

  • $139 million for Greater Minnesota bus services

  • $60 million for township roads & bridge

Our plan creates a special fund called the Transportation Stability Fund that redirects already existing revenues toward a new account dedicated to transportation spending. The accounts that would combine to create this new fund include the sales tax on auto parts, sales tax on rental vehicles, rental vehicle tax, and the Motor Vehicle Lease sales tax.

I am proud of the critical investments we make in our roads and bridges. I am confident that our proposal represents the best step forward in addressing our transportation infrastructure needs by prioritizing spending instead of raising taxes.

Also occurring this week was the release of our tax bill. This bill provides $2 billion in tax relief to a number of Minnesotans including middle class families, college students, aging adults, veterans, farmers, and job creators. One of the most exciting components of the package is a new Minnesota personal or dependent tax exemption that could save a middle-class family of four more than $500 over the next two years.

Other highlights include:

 

  • 2,045,000 Minnesotans could receive relief through a NEW state version of the personal or dependent exemption on tax returns equal to 25 percent of the federal exemption.
  • 366,500 aging adults living on fixed income could receive relief from the phasing-out of the tax on social security.

  • 240,000 farmers could receive relief through a property tax credit that reduces their disproportionate share of school district debt service.

  • 130,000 families with pre-kindergarteners could receive relief through the expansion of the education deduction to include pre-kindergarten expenses.

  • 109,500 college students could receive student loan debt relief through a NEW tax credit for principal and interest loan payments on student loans.

This tax bill proves that we can make investments in things that matter most to Minnesotans like education, transportation, and nursing homes while also offering meaningful tax relief to hard working Minnesotans.

I will have more updates next week as we continue working towards our constitutionally obligated May 18th adjournment.

As always, do not hesitate to contact me if you ever have a question or comment about a piece of legislation or a state agency. I can be reached by phone at 651-296-9918 or via email at rep.steve.green@house.mn.

 

Have a great weekend,

Steve

 

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