House Republicans unveiled about $2 billion in tax cuts on Monday, a package that GOP leaders said would lower taxes for more than 2 million Minnesotans through a new state personal or dependent exemption.
Tax cuts are a top priority of the new GOP majority in the House, and the personal or dependent exemption is the centerpiece of their tax omnibus bill. It's estimated to cost the state $539 million in lost tax revenue over two years.
"Our priority in this tax relief package is clear: middle-class Minnesota families," said House Majority Leader Joyce Peppin, R-Rogers. She said the exemption could save a middle-class family of four $500 over the next two years.
The GOP also proposes elimination of the statewide general property tax, which is paid by corporations and businesses. That would cost the state $453 million in two years of lost revenue. The GOP bill doles out smaller tax cuts in a number of other areas, from a tax credit on student loan payments, to a reduction in the estate tax, to tax incentives for research and development.
The personal or dependent tax exemption would be a one-time benefit, and would expire after two years. The elimination of the business property tax would be permanent.
House DFL leaders criticized the proposal as too focused on tax cuts for business owners. "With a $2 billion surplus and growing economy, we should embrace this chance to create more opportunity for all Minnesotans to get ahead," said House Minority Leader Paul Thissen, DFL-Minneapolis.
Gov. Mark Dayton and the Senate DFL majority have proposed far less in tax cuts than the House GOP, although the Republican plan does incorporate some tax cuts requested by Dayton, including tax credits geared toward school expenses.
A detailed overview of the GOP tax bill can be found here.