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Letter: Middle class tax relief on its way to governor's desk

With a $900 million budget surplus to address, lawmakers knew they would have many important issues to deal with during the 2016 session. During the final days, they decided to send a good portion of that money back to those who created the surpl...

With a $900 million budget surplus to address, lawmakers knew they would have many important issues to deal with during the 2016 session. During the final days, they decided to send a good portion of that money back to those who created the surplus in the first place.
The bill, approved by a 123-10 vote in the Minnesota House, will provide more than $800 million in tax relief over the next three years. I voted in favor of the plan.
We got the job done on tax relief that even the Minneapolis Star Tribune headlines said favors Greater Minnesota. We prioritized the tax relief that’ll put more money into the pockets of hardworking middle-class Minnesotans and it received broad, bipartisan support.
Among those impacted by the tax relief proposal: parents - through the expansion of the working family tax credit and the childcare tax credit; Main Street business owners - with the repeal of the commercial-industrial property tax off their first $100,000 of property value, which is expected to save the average business owner roughly $1,000 a year; farmers - with some property tax relief from school bond levies; college graduates - with student loan tax credit; and veterans - with an income tax exemption for their military pensions.
The legislation also provides Local Government Aid fixes for Woodstock, Dundee and Jeffers. Because these communities didn’t submit their reports by deadline, they weren’t able to access their LGA funds. This authorizes them to access those funds again.
The House and Senate also agreed to a capital investment/transportation funding proposal that would have dedicated nearly $700 million to our road and bridge needs. The House adjourned after approving the plan, while Senate Democrats chose to break their promise because the plan did not include money for another expensive train in Minneapolis.
There’s a lot of finger pointing going on, but the fact of the matter is that after a compromise agreement was made, a small group of senators used legislative procedures to break the deal because they were unwilling to compromise, Their bait-and-switch trick didn’t work, and time ran out before they could fix honoring the agreement.
Make no mistake, House Republicans not only compromised but lived up to their end of the agreement. Democrats and Republicans up and down the state supported the bill, and if it weren’t for some uncompromising senators, we’d have a new $700 million investment in our roads and bridges.

Related Topics: TRANSPORTATION
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