Saint Paul, Minn. — Earlier today, the Minnesota House of Representatives approved a bipartisan tax bill that will provide targeted tax cuts to workers and small businesses harmed by the pandemic, expand the Working Family Tax Credit, and provide new aid for counties to fund services and programs that prevent family homelessness. Also included in the bill is Rep. Fue Lee’s (DFL - Minneapolis) proposal funding a Targeted Community Capital Grant Program.
“The struggles of the past year have not impacted all Minnesotans equally, nor have the benefits from capital funds. Our Tax bill, with this proposal, will help lift up communities that are too often left behind when it comes to state investment,” said Rep. Lee, who also chairs the House Capital Investment Committee. “Diverse and often marginalized communities deserve the opportunity to see capital investments that reflect their needs and backgrounds, and this new grant program will give them the chance to apply for that investment.”
Originally a proposal in the Capital Investment bill that was brought to the House floor, the Targeted Community Capital Grant Program was appropriated a $24 million investment from the general fund. The legislation directs the Commissioner of Employment and Economic Development to establish these grants for capital projects to nonprofit organizations and government entities that provide, increase, or expand services to underserved or economically disadvantaged communities.
The Legislature’s bipartisan tax bill also uses federal aid from the American Rescue Plan to provide targeted tax cuts for workers who received unemployment insurance benefits and small businesses that received federal Paycheck Protection Program loans. Democrats say a deal without benefits for both workers and small businesses would have been unacceptable.
County governments will receive $20 million annually over six years to fund projects and programs that prevent family homelessness. The bipartisan agreement also expands the Working Family Tax Credit to Minnesotans without children down to age 19 from age 21.
A copy of the legislation can be found here.