Senator Roger Reinert announced he will re-introduce a bill in the Minnesota Senate to study the affect of tax reciprocity with the state of Wisconsin. Sen. Reinert introduced similar legislation last year in the Minnesota House; the legislation was included in the House version of the omnibus tax bill.
Sen. Reinert’s announcement comes the day after Governor Mark Dayton announced plans to write a letter to Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker urging payment of the $58 million in tax reciprocity it owes Minnesota or risk $975,000 in interest. Wisconsin officials indicated they may put off the total tax reciprocity payment, due in December, until July 1.
“Unfortunately, my bill did not make it through conference committee last session,” Sen. Reinert said. “This session, I plan to work again with DFL and Republican legislators, as well as Governor Dayton, to make sure this bill becomes law. The Governor’s announcement is a good sign that he is serious about this issue.”
Former Governor Pawlenty ended the 50-year-old reciprocity agreement between Minnesota and Wisconsin in 2009 by executive order.
Eliminating reciprocity made it harder for cross-border workers in Minnesota and Wisconsin to file their taxes. The action meant higher taxes for Minnesotans, in some cases by over $400.
Currently, 15,000 Minnesotans who work in Wisconsin have to file taxes in both states; 8,000 will pay higher taxes because of the elimination. An even larger number of Wisconsin residents are impacted.
“I don’t think Minnesotans should have the hassle and expense of preparing and filing two tax returns,” Sen. Reinert noted.
He reiterated that now is the time for action on reciprocity.
“Over the past few years, I have worked with legislators in both Wisconsin and Minnesota on this issue, but negotiations have bogged down,” Sen. Reinert said. “But this is a very important issue to those of us who live along the MN/WI border, and I intend to vigorously pursue legislation to find a reasonable solution to this problem.”
Sen. Reinert noted that he also intended to write a letter to the new revenue commissioner about the legislation and the study. Former Revenue Commissioner Ward Einess testified in favor of the reciprocity study legislation last year.
“Providing for this study makes sense. The current study is nearly 50 years old and we need 21st century tax data for a 21st century economy,” Sen. Reinert said.