On Thursday the House took the first step toward cleaning up the mess Democrats left Minnesotans during the 2013 Legislative Session. On top of bringing Minnesota’s tax code in alignment with the federal tax code, the House passed a bill that would repeal the sales tax on commercial/industrial repair as well as telecommunications machinery and equipment starting June 30, 2013. The sales tax on warehousing and storage – scheduled to go into effect April 1 – would be repealed on the day following final enactment.
However, not all Minnesota tax provisions will be uniform with the federal tax code until tax year 2014. Absent from the bill that passed the House were two conformity provisions for tax year 2013:
- Increased Standard Deduction for married joint filers which would have saved 640,000 married couples for an average $112 per return
- Increased Eligible Expense Limit for Dependent Care Credit which would have saved 26,000 working moms and dads on an average of $80 per return.
While I was happy to support reducing the tax burden on Minnesota families, the proposal put forward by House Democrats did not go far enough. I supported amendments on the floor that would have made those deductions eligible for the 2013 tax year. I also spoke in favor of an amendment that would have given a tax credit to those who are paying more for health insurance because of increased costs due to Obamacare. Unfortunately, the Democrats voted those amendments down.
Don’t be fooled when you hear House Democrats claim they cut your taxes. This bill simply un-did a few of the devastating mistakes Democrats made last session. This legislation still keeps about $700 million in state government’s bank account. These dollars don’t belong in a vault in St. Paul, or worse – spent on a luxurious new office building for some state senators. This money belongs to you – the hardworking Minnesota taxpayer.
I’ve received numerous emails from constituents asking about what’s happening with the estate tax. On Thursday, Governor Dayton proposed a supplemental budget that included simplifying the estate tax and eliminating the gift tax. Specifically, he seeks to raise the exemption for the estate tax from $1 million to $2 million. It’s unclear how the legislature will act on Governor Dayton’s proposal, but I will continue to keep you updated.
As always, please feel free to contact me by e-mail at [email protected] or contact my office at 651-296-3201. You can also send mail to my office address: 211 State Office Building, 100 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., St. Paul, MN 55155.