ST. PAUL, Minn. – The Minnesota Senate has passed a second comprehensive tax bill, bringing the total tax relief enacted this session to $550 million. Approved with a nearly unanimous vote, the latest tax bill provides $103 million in additional property, sales, and income tax relief to 940,000 Minnesotans.
“There is a good balance of tax relief for everyone in this second tax bill, especially direct property relief for individuals, renters, businesses and our agriculture community,” said Senate Tax Chair Sen. Rod Skoe (DFL – Clearbrook). He added, “But it takes more than just cutting taxes to grow our economy, and that’s why our tax relief package also invests in new workforce housing, protecting our lakes and streams from aquatic invasive species, and new efficiencies for state and local governments.”
“We began this biennium with a structural deficit,” said Sen. Skoe. “But now we are leaving St. Paul with a balanced budget and a replenished reserve fund. We have done that by reforming our tax code to be fairer for all Minnesotans, but also by supporting projects that encourage economic development throughout our state.”
“I am proud of the bipartisan effort of the Senate tax committee members,” said Sen. Paul Gazelka (R-Nisswa), “Particularly in the work we have done to provide adequate financial support for the Lewis and Clark Regional Water System. I can’t think of a worthier project than this pipeline to provide clean water to the people of Southwest Minnesota. What started as a complex problem will now be an asset to those Minnesotans who have been waiting for so long for a solution.”
The bill also increases Local Government Aid to cities by $7.8 million per year and provides $10 million per year to counties statewide for combating the spread of aquatic invasive species. Many Minnesota businesses will see relief as they will no longer be required to make early payments to the state on their June sales tax liability. All others will see that payment reduced.
The property tax relief in the bill includes $17 million to 94,000 homesteaded farmers this year, a $12.5 million refund increase to 350,000 Minnesota renters, and a one-time 3 percent increase in all Homeowner Property Tax Refunds, which totals $12.1 million to 500,000 homeowners across the state.
“The time we put into developing a bill that would help the most people in a responsible way really paid off by getting such bipartisan support for it. In a short, 12-week session we were able to pass two tax bills with broad support, providing tax relief to so many hard-working Minnesotans,” said Sen. Ann Rest (DFL-New Hope).
In all, millions of Minnesotans will see money back in their pockets, and the state’s finances are back in order thanks to the work of the 2013-14 Legislature.