ST. PAUL, Minn. – The Senate Tax Committee passed their Omnibus bill on Tuesday, April 28. The bill cuts taxes by $459.8 million dollars. It includes $260 million in direct tax relief – with $200 million earmarked to property owners. The bill also pays back $225 million in shifts that were used during budget deficits and provides $24 million in the first biennium for a veteran’s job tax credit to help put veterans to work while helping Minnesota businesses.
Senator Greg Clausen (DFL-Apple Valley), had a number of provisions in the 2015 Tax bill that will help local communities. Important Clausen tax provisions include:
Dakota County 4H’ers Tax Break: $590,000. This Clausen proposal primarily helps 4-H programs with booths at county fairs. Currently, state law allows a nonprofit to lease a location for fundraising for five days and not have to pay sales tax on their sales. Sen. Clausen’s bill extends the sales tax break to 10 days. “Our Dakota County 4-H’ers came to me to find a solution for the organization to reduce their sales tax burden,” Sen. Clausen said. “This simple change will help all nonprofits keep more of their profits.”
College Savings Tax Credit: $7.4 million. College savings plans provide incentives for families to start putting money away now to help pay for college costs for their children in the future. The Clausen provision establishes a maximum $500 per year tax credit for qualified contributions to Minnesota’s college savings plan. Families of four with income under $36,375 a year could earn 200 percent of contributions; the percentage decreases as income increases so those earning $120,000 – $160,000 a year could receive five percent of the total contribution made to a 529 plan. Thirty-three other states have tax incentives to help families save for college. Minnesota’s matching grant went away during the 2011 budget deficit, but the Clausen bill reinvests in that priority.
Tax-exempt tickets to high school events: $1.58 million. School tickets and admissions to Minnesota State High School League-sponsored activities currently are exempt from the sales and use tax, an exemption set to expire July 1, 2015. The Clausen provision removes the sunset date and permanently exempts these school ticket and admission purchases from the sales tax.
Other important provisions include:
Workforce housing: This bill addresses the statewide workforce housing crisis, helping cities provide affordable housing so Greater Minnesota businesses can attract and retain the highly skilled workers they need.
Every type of property will see property tax relief from this bill – including farmers, businesses, homeowners, and cabin owners: The statewide business property tax is reduced by $69 million. Farmers and homeowners get additional relief through an expansion of the current targeting refund and a new agricultural targeting property tax refund that helps properties whose taxes increase drastically over the course of a year. State aids to cities, counties and townships are increased to help them continue taking pressure off local property taxes and improve local services.
“This is a responsible tax bill that reflects the needs of the state while staying fiscally accountable,” Sen. Clausen said. “This bill provides broad property tax relief, carefully targets income and sales tax relief, and resolves past accounting shifts that add risk to the state budget. We have spent the last two years successfully getting Minnesota off the budget roller coaster – this sensible tax bill helps makes sure we stay off.”
For more information, or if you have any questions, please contact Sen. Greg Clausen at 651-296-4120 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.