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.
Gov. Mark Dayton, speaking to a mostly Republican audience at the annual Minnesota Business Partnership dinner, repeated his familiar attack on the House GOP, blaming them for a legislative impasse on transportation.
It takes a certain sort of magic for a presidential debate to shift a race, it seems, some weird alchemy combining ingredients like viewership and mistakes and perceptions and medium. It's almost never about policy.
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.