I hope you were able to enjoy the final days of summer with your friends and family. Here is some info I hope you find useful as the weather cools and we head into Fall!
Back to School Preparation
Many school supply purchases can qualify for K-12 tax benefits in your 2021 Minnesota tax return. Save receipts from these purchases, including distance learning needs, and claim the K-12 Education Credit or Subtraction. You can learn more about these tax returns here. Here are some expenses that qualify for refunds:
This Saturday, we commemorate the 20th anniversary of the events of September 11, 2001. A full day of events will take place on the Minnesota State Capitol grounds in remembrance of those who tragically lost their lives and in salute of the heroes who jumped into action.
From 7:30-9 a.m., the names of Minnesotans lost on 9/11 and during the Global War on Terrorism since then will be read, interspersed with moments of silence and tolling local church bells, corresponding with the times of the 9/11 airplane attacks. At 9 a.m., the official ceremony will begin, with guest speakers, military honors, wreath laying, flyover, and musical tributes. After that at 10:45 a.m., there will be activities including veteran resources and discussion groups, live music, food vendors, children’s activities and a special Post-9/11 display.
More information is available here from the Minnesota Department of Veterans Affairs.
Main Street COVID-19 Relief Grants Applications Open September 20The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) will begin accepting applications for the Main Street COVID Relief Grants Program on September 20th. A total of $64,200,000 is available in grants for Minnesotan owned and operated businesses that can demonstrate financial hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Businesses that are majority-owned by military veterans, women, and?Black,?Indigenous, and people of color individuals; employ 6 people or fewer; and/or did not receive previous assistance from other state relief programs will be prioritized in the selection process. Funding will be distributed in a 50/50 split between the Twin Cities metro area and Greater Minnesota. ?
Applicants that qualify and are selected will receive a grant amount between $10,000 and $25,000 based on the number of full-time equivalent (FTEs) employees on staff. To be eligible, businesses must operate in Minnesota and be majority owned by a resident of Minnesota. Additional eligibility requirements and application information can be found at DEED’s Main Street COVID Relief Grants Program page.
There will be two informational sessions.
If you have questions, you can email?MSCRG.DEED@state.mn.us. They will also be keeping their Frequently Asked Questions updated as they get inquires. Additionally, you will be able to find translated program information on their website in Hmong, Somali, Spanish, and Vietnamese. You can also watch their How To Apply For The Minnesota Main Street COVID Relief Grant video in Hmong, Somali and Spanish.
Applications will be reviewed and awards will be disbursed and administered by qualified local and regionally based nonprofit organizations. Grant funds received by individual businesses shall be used for working capital to support payroll expenses, rent, mortgage payments, utility bills, and other similar expenses that occur or have occurred since March 12, 2020, in the regular course of business.
The application portal will open?September?20,?2021 and will accept applications?for 10 days?after opening. Applications will close?on September 29?at 11:59 p.m.?Afterward, grant applications?will be?selected for consideration?through a computer-generated, randomized selection process.?
PPP Tax Changes in Effect
Minnesota tax code changes were signed into law on July 1, 2021. The changes relate to unemployment compensation, Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan forgiveness, and other retroactive conformity provisions affecting tax years 2017 through 2020.
Below is the status of progress as of August 30, 2021:
CD 1 Redistricting Listening Session
Wednesday, September 15, at 8:30 am the redistricting committee will hold a listening session on redistricting of the 1st congressional district. You can watch the meeting here. More info on this meeting can be found here. Hearing from communities is an important part of the redistricting process, I encourage you to join if you are able.
We continue to see significant spread of the Covid-19 virus in our community. It’s important for all of us to work together to keep everyone in our community safe and healthy. If you are not yet vaccinated, I encourage you to do so. You can find information about where to do that here. If you have questions, I encourage you to reach out to a trusted and reliable source, such as your healthcare provider. The Minnesota Department of Health and the CDC are also valuable resources.
It is also important to continue the other safe behaviors we know to be effective in keeping our community safe. If you are not feeling well, or suspect you have been exposed to someone with Covid-19, please get tested; you can find resources for that here. I also encourage everyone to follow the CDC guidelines and similar recommendations of the City of Rochester and the Olmsted County Board to wear a mask indoors in public spaces and outdoors when in crowded settings and large groups. We all wish the pandemic was over, but the reality is that it is not and this is how we protect each other, especially all kids under 12 who cannot yet be vaccinated. We will get through this by working together.
Stay in Touch
I always appreciate hearing from you, so please feel free to share your questions, ideas, and feedback. Feel free to reach out to me by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 651-296-9249. If you’d like to schedule a time to chat by phone or Zoom, I’m happy to do that as well. If you have a friend, neighbor, or relative who wants to receive updates about the Legislature, let them know they can subscribe to my email list here, and you can also follow my Facebook page here.
It’s an honor to represent our community. Please be safe and stay in touch.
With gratitude and hope,
Rep.Liz Boldon, District 25B
533 State Office Building
St. Paul, MN 55155