Minnesota Senate passes $100 million in tax relief
April 10, 2014 — 5:13pm
Minnesotans would get more than $100 million in tax relief as part of a proposal that sailed through the Minnesota Senate on Thursday with bipartisan support.
The measure includes tax relief for businesses, veterans and transit users. It also provides tax breaks for volunteer emergency responders, parents who pay for tutors and people who lost their home through foreclosure or a short sale.
The measure, which passed 57-6, expands the local sales tax exemption for local governments. It also eliminates sales taxes for snowmobile clubs, post-season high school events and nonprofit fundraising groups.
This is the second tax relief bill of the legislative session, coming just a month after legislators approved $443 million mostly in income tax cuts.
Legislators are paying for the tax relief out of the $1.2 billion projected budget surplus for the remainder of the fiscal period. They have also set aside $150 million to increase the state's rainy-day fund.
Republicans who voted against the newest tax-relief measure have pressed Democrats to return a larger share of the surplus to taxpayers.
The Senate bill differs dramatically from a similar measure on the House, which would spend about the same amount of money, but directs it largely toward property tax relief.
If legislators are committed to passing more tax relief, House and Senate leaders will have to work out their differences in coming weeks before the legislative session adjourns.
DFL Gov. Mark Dayton said he is open to approving more property tax relief this session.
Interest groups spent less slightly money lobbying state government in 2015 than in the previous year, according to a report released Wednesday by the Minnesota Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Board.
More than half the people outside the government who met with Hillary Clinton while she was secretary of state gave money — either personally or through companies or groups — to the Clinton Foundation. It's an extraordinary proportion indicating her possible ethics challenges if elected president.
Homeowners would see a one-time increase in homestead credits, providing $12.1 million in property tax relief to 500,000 Minnesotans. Renters will get a one-time increase in a tax credit, totaling $12.5 million for 350,000 Minnesotans. Farmers will get $18 million in property tax relief.
Minnesota taxpayers, particularly families, senior citizens and those who work from home, could see $24 million in overall tax relief under Gov. Mark Dayton's recent budget proposal, a more precisely crafted plan compared with past budget blueprints.