Legislative Update from Sondra Erickson 3/13/2020

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March 13, 2020

Dear Neighbors,

Earlier this week, the legislature voted unanimously in the House and Senate to approve emergency funding for the Department of Health to continue their response to the COVID-19 outbreak.

The bill included protections for taxpayers that would require money to be paid back to the general fund if it goes unspent. The legislature is considering additional steps to ensure our state and health care system can respond as quickly and effectively as possible.

Minnesotans should have confidence that legislators, the governor, and state agencies are working closely based on the expert recommendations of the Minnesota Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control.

As this situation unfolds, social media could be rife with misinformation so please continue to rely only on information from trusted sources. Your best sources for up-to-date information are the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) websites.

Minnesota Department of Health Website

Federal Centers for Disease Control Website

Tax Relief

On Monday, House Republicans unveiled a package of tax cuts for Minnesota families using the state’s budget surplus.

Our proposal benefits everyone from seniors to farmers, homeowners, Main Street businesses, college graduates with student loan debt, families with kids in childcare and beyond.

The plan to eliminate the state tax on social security would be a huge help to senior citizens and it is time to put an end to that once and for all. I am also focused on fixing the Section 179 tax code problem that has left farmers and businesses with unexpected tax bills in the tens of thousands of dollars.

Here are some highlights:

  • Eliminating state taxes on social security benefits. This provision would eliminate social security taxes entirely.
  • Childcare Tax Credit. We are seeking to help families dealing with high childcare expenses by increasing the income threshold for the dependent care credit.
  • Doubling the student loan tax credit. We helped create the first-ever student loan tax credit of up to $500 for college graduates making payments on their loans. The new proposal would double that credit to $1,000.
  • Tax Fairness for Farmers and Main Street Businesses. Last session’s failure to enact full Section 179 conformity is causing massive unexpected tax bills for farmers and businesses. We are proposing to fully conform and make it retroactive so farmers and businesses are not stuck with tax bills many simply cannot afford.
  • Property Tax Relief. By putting an additional $50 million into school equalization aid, this would effectively result in a property tax cut for Minnesota homeowners by reducing reliance on local property tax revenue.
  • Increasing the Personal Exemption. Every Minnesotan would benefit from an approximately $1,300 increase to the personal exemption.

Staying in Touch

Please be sure to reach out to me to share any thoughts, questions, or concerns you may have related to state government. I can be reached by phone at rep.sondra.erickson.

Have a great weekend,

Sondra