ST. PAUL — The chair of the Subcommittee on Property Taxes is championing a a $681 million tax relief bill passed Wednesday by the Minnesota Senate.

The bill, stated a press release from the Minnesota Republican Caucus, is aimed at jumpstarting the economy and helping workers and small business owners recover from COVID-19. The comprehensive legislation delivers tax relief and reform without raising taxes, which reflects a contrast from tax plans from House Democrats and Gov. Tim Walz, both of whom have proposed more than $1 billion in tax hikes despite the state’s $1.6 billion surplus.

“Senate Republicans are staying true to our promise of no new taxes on Minnesotans,” said District 22 Sen. Bill Weber (R-Luverne), the subcommittee's chair. “The goal of this legislation is to lower taxes on Minnesotans and provide relief that encourages growth in our economy, brings back jobs and makes Minnesota more affordable.

"Through targeted relief, we’re helping small businesses expand and survive COVID-19, we’re helping families by increasing childcare options, and working we’re working to increase access to affordable and workforce housing for all Minnesotans,” Weber added.

Among the key initiatives in the bill are full conformity to federal tax rules for the forgivable Paycheck Protection Program loans many businesses used to survive the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as a bipartisan compromise allowing those who need relief most to exclude a portion of their pandemic unemployment benefits from their taxes.

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The bill also lowers statewide property taxes for job creators by increasing the statewide property tax exclusion from $100,000 to $150,000. The bill aim to support Minnesota industries working to emerge from the pandemic, including high-tech restaurants, brewers and ethanol retailers. Relief is also targeted to support affordable and workforce housing, to address the ongoing crises of adequate daycare throughout the state, and to communities seeking to construct public safety facilities.