ST. PAUL, Minn – The Senate supplemental tax omnibus bill provides tax relief for working families, helps combat the growing burden of student debt, and creates a new paid leave program for Minnesota workers. The bill passed the Senate with a vote of 37-30 Wednesday. Tax Committee member Senator Kari Dziedzic (DFL-Minneapolis) praised the bill’s focus on families and students.
“The Senate is committed to helping more working Minnesotans get the help they need to succeed, and to find ways to help address the burdens of student loan debt faced by many students. Today’s bill includes targeted tax relief that will help working families, provide stronger benefits for our workers, and will provide tax credits for thousands of students,” said Dziedzic.
The supplemental tax bill creates a student loan credit that will provide up to $1,000 for eligible individuals and their parents paying students loans, which will relieve some of the financial burden faced by students with loan debt.
The supplemental tax omnibus bill also invests in workers and families by creating a new program requiring most employers to participate in a paid family leave program and to expand the number of people who can be covered by the Working Family Credit, which helped nearly 340,000 households in 2013.
Targeted tax relief provisions in the bill include:
- Working family credit: $48.8 million in 2017, $109.9 million in the next biennium. This provision brings an estimated average tax reduction of $125 to about 386,000 tax filers and expands the credit to an additional 109,500 Minnesotans – including workers without children.
- Student loan credit: $36.1 million in 2017, $74.6 million in the next biennium. This provision creates a credit of up to $1,000 for eligible individuals and their parents paying student loans. The percentage of student loan payments eligible for the credit are:
- 50 percent of qualified educational loans.
- 65 percent for eligible individuals in a public service job.
- 75 percent for eligible individuals in an education profession.
- Tax conformity: This bill conforms to federal changes made in 2015 including the Slain Officer Family Support Act, Don’t Tax Our Fallen Public Safety Heroes Act, Bipartisan Budget Act, and Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes Act.
- Nameless job application credit: $1 million each year through 2019. This provision creates a tax credit that incentivizes businesses to adopt nameless job application processes, where an applicant’s name is withheld during primary screening rounds of the hiring process. The total credits are capped at $1 million annually.
- Citizenship credit: $1.3 million in 2017, $2.9 million in the next biennium. This bill removes the financial barrier to citizenship for many immigrants by providing a credit of up to $700 for naturalization expenses.
- Credit for parents of stillborn children: $800,000 in 2017, $1.6 million in the next biennium. This provision helps families pay for uncompensated costs that often arise after a stillbirth by creating a $2,000 tax credit for taxpayers who experience a stillbirth.
This bill is a responsible approach to maintaining a balanced budget while providing $120.2 million in relief for Minnesota taxpayers. The supplemental omnibus bill will now move to a conference committee with members of the House of Representatives.
For questions on this or any legislation, please contact Sen. Dziedzic at (651) 296-7809 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.