ST. PAUL, MINN. – At their initial gathering of the 2014 Legislative Session, members of the Purple Caucus in the Minnesota Senate agreed to make repeal of the business-to-business (B2B) taxes passed in 2013 and federal tax conformity their top priority. Out of sensitivity to people filing their taxes and to businesses that would be heavily impacted by the warehousing tax implementation the Purple Caucus members called on the Senate to move as quickly as possible to pass legislation before March 31.
“Living in a border community, the warehousing tax is especially concerning for the Port of Duluth. It would put the Port at a distinct competitive disadvantage with our warehousing facilities in Wisconsin. I’m optimistic the warehousing tax will be repealed, and I’m working to make sure we accomplish that before the tax is implemented on April 1,” said caucus co-chair Sen. Roger Reinert.
Sen. Reinert says while swift action is critical, he also appreciates the importance of a good public process in assembling the Senate tax bill. In addition to repeal of the warehousing and other B2B taxes, caucus co-chair Sen. Jeremy Miller is encouraging the Senate to also move forward with federal tax conformity changes including fixes for the marriage penalty and the working family tax credit.
“The repeal of the B2B taxes along with conforming state law to federal tax code will have a positive economic impact on just about every Minnesotan, including small businesses, farmers, students, individuals and families. Legislators are hearing loud and clear that our constituents would like us to move quickly on these tax related issues and the Purple Caucus has made it a priority to get this done in a bi-partisan manner,” said Sen. Miller.
Taxes Committee Chair Sen. Rod Skoe has already scheduled hearings on federal conformity changes, and is optimistic about wrapping up the bill in as timely a manner as possible.
The Purple Caucus was started during the 2013 Legislative Session by Senators Roger Reinert and Jeremy Miller. It includes a core group of 14 Senators (20% of the Minnesota Senate) that happens to be evenly divided along political party lines. The members tend to be newer to the Minnesota Senate, and come from local government backgrounds including county boards, city councils, and school boards. The caucus gathered several times during the 2013 session and focused on trust and relationship. In 2014, the Purple Caucus will be more actively taking a position on issues before the Minnesota Legislature.
The Purple Caucus is open to any member of the Minnesota Senate. The only qualification to membership is an agreement to be a Minnesotan first, and other labels second.