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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Dale Lueck (R)

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Moving forward with budget bills

Friday, May 12, 2017

Dear Neighbor,

First things first: I want to wish all the moms a happy Mother’s Day. Secondly, good luck during our fishing opener this weekend.

This week at the Capitol we continued moving forward on the state’s next two-year budget. On the governor’s desk is a transportation bill that will invest $5.5 billion over the next 10 years in the state’s transportation needs without raising taxes. The proposal includes a strong focus on dedicating existing transportation related revenues that are currently in excess in the general fund to roads and bridges.

We capture $372 million in new dollars from existing transportation-related sales taxes revenues over the next two years and that will grow significantly in the out-years.  

There is a strong focus on rural Minnesota with $20 million in FY18/19 for the Small Cities Assistance Program (cities under 5,000), $25 million to fund over 97 bridges on MNDOT's priority list and statewide investments in roads: $150m in trunk highway, $70m for counties, $22m for cities. 

The governor also has a major tax reform bill on his desk. If signed it would provide $1.15 billion in relief over the next two years, including a $218 million reduction of the state tax on seniors’ Social Security retirement benefits.

It’s up to the governor to decide if he will end Minnesota’s practice of heavily taxing senior’s retirement incomes and join the vast majority of states that long ago realized our seniors are on fixed incomes.

Other tax reforms include:

  • $70 million on college affordability through a tax credit for student loan payments, subtractions and credits for families saving for college using 529 Savings Plans. 65,000 students will receive an average of a $414 reduction in their taxes through a tax credit for student loan payments.
  • $35 million in relief on the property tax burden on agriculture land related to school bond referendums.
  • $36 million for working families with young children by modifying the child and dependent care credit. A family of four making $50,000 a year will receive an additional $1,200 towards their child care expenses.
  • $126 million in relief for main street businesses by exempting the first $150,000 in property value from the extra tax on businesses and freezing its automatic inflator.

Have a good weekend and please be safe if you are going to be on the water.

Sincerely,

Dale

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