ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

State tax bill up for debate: Legislature covers topics from family leave to Internet taxes

ST. PAUL -- Minnesota legislative tax negotiators gained more topics to discuss Wednesday when senators approved 37-30 a tax bill containing items ranging from requiring many businesses to provide paid family leave to expanding Internet sales taxes.

ST. PAUL - Minnesota legislative tax negotiators gained more topics to discuss Wednesday when senators approved 37-30 a tax bill containing items ranging from requiring many businesses to provide paid family leave to expanding Internet sales taxes.

The provisions of the bill authored by Sen. Rod Skoe, D-Clearbrook, will land in a House-Senate conference committee already established to discuss tax issues lawmakers approved last year.
The vote was mostly party line, with only two Democrats opposing it: Vicki Jensen of Owatonna and Terri Bonoff of Minnetonka.
Most discussed was a provision requiring businesses with more than 20 employees to participate in a state insurance program.
“It is a relatively small impact on Minnesotans,” Skoe said.
Sen. Katie Sieben, D-Cottage Grove, sponsor of the family and parental leave act, said a worker earning $50,000 annually would pay about $45 a year. His employer would pay the same.
The plan would provide partial wage replacement to parents of new babies and workers who take time off to care for family members.
“I know from experience how hard it was to return to work almost immediately after the birth of my third child,” Sieben said.
But Sen. Julianne Ortman, R-Chanhassen, said the required business and employee payments are new taxes.
“Today, you want to install another payroll tax on hard-working Minnesotans,” Ortman told Democrats who supported the family leave act.
Ortman also complained about a provision that taxes more Internet sales.
“Be careful, members, because you are voting on a $200 million tax increase,” she said.
Ortman wanted other sales taxes to fall as Internet taxes rise, but her efforts were defeated.
The tax bill also would add several tax breaks, benefiting a range of people, from students who take out loans to parents of stillborn babies. Also in the bill are provisions to:

  • Provide tax breaks to businesses that accept job applications that do not immediately reveal the applicant’s name.
  • Give new citizens up to $700 in income tax credits.
  • Pay the city of Madelia $1.2 billion in aid and give a sales tax exemption on construction materials as the town recovers from a fire that destroyed downtown businesses.
  • Give a sales tax exemption on construction materials for a siding company that may locate on the Iron Range.
  • Allow sales tax exemptions for construction materials to redevelop the Duluth Central High School site.
  • Provide businesses in high-unemployment areas tax breaks when they hire mostly local residents.
  • Give $10 million to counties to help protect waters with plant buffers.
  • Change the structure of the Iron Range Resources and Rehabilitation Board so the agency commissioner makes spending decisions, not board members.
  • Provide an early separation payment to IRRRB workers who would like to retire.
Related Topics: INTERNET
What To Read Next
A resolution looking to allow the legislature to consider work requirements on the newly expanded Medicaid program is one step closer to the 2024 ballot.
Navigator CO2 Ventures is hoping to streamline the application process in Illinois as they add an additional pipeline to the mix.
The North Dakota Highway Patrol is investigating the Wednesday, Jan. 25, crash.
Testimony to the top House committee from a convicted attendee of the Jan. 6 rally focused on the "inhumane" treatment of Jan. 6 defendants. The committee rejected a resolution on the matter 12-0.