I hope you have had a good summer so far! It is hard to believe that it’s August already, and the start of the school year is just around the corner.
It’s been fun to see so many of you around Lakeville, Credit River, and Elko New Market this summer, please continue to reach out to my office if you have any questions, it is an honor to serve you and our communities.
Here I am pictured with Willow and her father.
New Laws Take Effect
Starting in August, several new laws took effect that were approved during the 2023 legislative session. Despite a $17.5 billion surplus, Democrats approved extreme policies and raised taxes by nearly $10 billion after spending your surplus.
Here are a few of the new laws that went into effect on August 1st:
Adult-use cannabis legalized, and prior low-level cannabis convictions expunged. Adults aged 21 or older can now possess or publicly transport 2 ounces of cannabis, and up to 8 grams of cannabis concentrates. Criminal records of Minnesotans with petty misdemeanor and misdemeanor cannabis convictions will begin to be expunged. Although the records are not destroyed, they are removed from public view and will not appear in criminal background checks.
Universal Background Checks. Private transfers of pistols and semiautomatic military-style assault weapons without a firearms eligibility background check are now prohibited. Those who do not comply with this new, complicated, and burdensome process will be criminalized. A reminder that the “red-flag law” does not take effect until January 1st.
While those bills were controversial, there are a handful of others that had broad bipartisan support that are now law. This includes increased penalties for catalytic converter thefts.
Click here for more information regarding new laws from the non-partisan Minnesota Public Information Services office.
As I mentioned before, Democrats blew out the state budget this year, raising overall spending by nearly 40%, spending the entire $17.5 billion budget surplus, and raising your taxes by $10 billion. Several tax increases went into effect on July 1st with many more coming in the months and years ahead. They include:
Vehicle Tab Increases: The average driver will see a 36% increase in tab fee costs over the first 11 years of owning a new vehicle, but some will see a 50% increase. For example, the owner of a $40,000 vehicle previously would have paid $524 in tab fees in year one, $472.60 in year two, and so on. Now, the owner of this same car will pay $832.40 for tabs the first year and $524 in the second. This takes effect on January 1st, 2024.
Filing Fee increases: Filing fees will increase to $8 on every vehicle registration renewal, excluding pro-rate transactions. These new fees begin on October 1st, 2023.
Largest in the Nation tax on retail deliveries over $100: More than $189 million over four years is expected to be collected from Minnesotans who shop from home thanks to this new tax. The tax will be applied to deliveries over $100. There are some exemptions for groceries, prepared food, baby products, and feminine hygiene products. The tax begins on July 1, 2024, and is the largest delivery tax in the U.S.
$6 Fee Increase for Driver licenses: This was effective July 1, 2023, and applies to applications made on or after that date.
Gas Tax Automatic Increases for Inflation: Drivers will pay nearly $430 million over the next four years when the gas tax is raised and tied to inflation beginning January 1st, 2024.
Metro Sales tax changes: This 0.75% increase in the 7-county Metro Sales Tax for Transportation will see 83% of funds go toward Metro Transit funding and 17% will be sent to Metro Counties for local road projects. This takes effect on October 1st, 2023.
Increase in Motor Vehicle Sales Tax from 6.5% to 6.875%: This change will give Minnesota the 5th highest Vehicle sales tax rate in the U.S. Someone buying a $40,000 car will hand over $150 more totaling $2,750.00 in sales taxes. This section is effective for sales and purchases made on or after July 1, 2023.
Payroll tax increases: The new, one-size-fits-all, paid family and medical leave bill will result in $3 billion in payroll taxes that will take money directly out of your paychecks.
Business tax increases: While small businesses continue to struggle to recover from onerous COVID shutdowns, Democrats are raising taxes on these employers by $2.2 billion. This will impact main street businesses that provide goods and services for our communities and good-paying jobs for our neighbors.
Metro area housing sales tax increase: Democrats passed a new metro area sales tax increase that will cost taxpayers an additional $800 million to fund public housing projects.
As you can see, it was ONE EXPENSIVE year and ultimately Minnesota taxpayers will be forced to foot the bill for Democrats’ out-of-control spending. Now more than ever, we need balance in St. Paul and an end to one party control to provide a check on Democrats’ recklessness and extremism.
Staying in Touch
While the session is over, the work doesn’t stop. Do not hesitate to contact our office if we can be of any assistance to you or your family. Please share this Koznick Connection with neighbors that would be interested. They cansign up for future Koznick Connections here.I look forward to seeing many of you around town and make sure to enjoy the final month of summer!