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Legislative News and Views - Rep. John Petersburg (R)

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Friday, June 3, 2016

As we wait to hear from Governor Dayton as to whether he will call a special session to address transportation funding and capital investment proposals, many have overlooked what was the biggest highlight of the 2016 session – significant tax relief.


By overwhelming bipartisan margins in both the Minnesota House and Senate, we recognized those who created our budget surplus and passed legislation that will allow them to keep more of their paychecks in the future.


Over the next three years, $800 million will be used on tax relief for hardworking Minnesotans. Main Street business owners in Greater Minnesota are particularly excited over the removal of the state general tax for all business property up to the first $100,000 in value, saving the average store owner nearly $1000 a year in state property taxes.


Farmers will also see property tax relief as it relates to school bond levies. Working families and college students saddled with loan debt would also benefit.


This legislation recognized that middle-class Minnesotans are paying too much to state government and it will benefit residents in several age brackets. I’m very hopeful that Governor Dayton will agree and sign it.


The governor did recently sign a supplemental budget bill which includes a historic tax cut for veterans, as it exempts all military retirement benefits from state taxes. This will mean more money in the pockets of the more than 18,000 retired veterans currently living in Minnesota.


It also contained my proposal that creates a contest for statewide 6th grade students to submit designs for a State Capitol construction worker memorial plaque or marker.


You’ll recall that this idea came from 6th grade students at Owatonna's Willow Creek Middle School who wondered why there was not a plaque within the Capitol honoring those who had constructed it. There’s little doubt that their hard work moved this bill forward, and I’m pleased it has become state law.