Tick-tock on the tax bill

With five weeks left in the legislative session, legislators still have not seen a tax conformity proposal from Republican leaders in either the House or Senate. Governor Dayton’s plan to cut taxes for 2 million taxpayers and better align state and federal code was released nearly a month ago.

Congress’ massive tax bill passed late in 2017 put Minnesota taxpayers in limbo as they plan their finances. More than 300,000 filers will see an average $200 tax increase next year if the legislature doesn’t attempt to respond to federal changes, but if the state simply copies what the federal government changed word-for-word, more than 870,000 filers will see tax increases averaging $426 next year.

The legislature must carefully consider an appropriate response that protects Minnesotans from tax increases and doesn’t destroy the state budget. That is a monumental task that requires public debate and should not be rushed or entangled in end-of-session games. Regardless of personal feelings about the federal tax changes, most everyone can agree that the process by which they were adopted was inexcusable – written behind closed doors with no public input. As a result, the bill that passed is full of mistakes and unintended consequences that are still being discovered. It would be very disappointing to see Minnesotans Republicans walk down that same path but, with only five weeks left, it is becoming a troubling possibility.

For more information on the Governor’s proposal released last month, click here.