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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Dean Urdahl (R)

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Legislative update

Friday, January 13, 2023

Dear Neighbor,

I’m pleased to share good news from the House this week: Legislation I authored sparing venues shuttered by the state during the pandemic from paying state taxes on relief grants has been enacted into law.

Minnesota was the only state in the union that was still taxing these relief grants for shuttered venues. That was wrong, it needed to be fixed, and I’m glad we took corrective action. A lot of movie theaters, for example, suffered through the pandemic and this legislation gives them some relief.

My provision was included in a larger tax conformity package that was passed so state taxpayers can take advantage of numerous tax provisions already approved at the federal level. Federal conformity is needed in Minnesota to ease filing to help industries that were hardest hit from pandemic shutdowns – especially restaurant, hospitality, and entertainment entities.

Tax year 2023 marks five years since our state tax code has been conformed, which is the longest the state has been out of conformity in decades. At least seven federal bills have been passed into law since Minnesota last enacted legislation to match congressional changes. 

Timeliness was key on tax conformity since approving this bill early in the session allows tax software to be updated in time for the 2023 filing season. Language both bodies approved this week and the governor enacted specifies taxpayers have until Dec. 31 to file an amended return.

In other news, the early stages of a legislative session typically mean most of our time is spent in committee meetings, authoring bills and conducting preliminary hearings. That has largely been the case this year, although I also have spent a fair amount of time doing advance work on a capital investment package in the hopes we can develop an infrastructure-focused package worthy of broad, bipartisan support. As the ranking House Republican on capital investment, I will continue working closely with this subject and provide more as things develop.

I also should mention I’m once again authoring legislation to support civics education and stem declining knowledge in that area. My bill would require high schools to offer civics courses for credit to juniors or seniors. I am cautiously optimistic we can gain traction with this bill, especially with a strong delegation of around 10 Democrats joining 30 or so Republicans as co-authors.

Watch for more from the House soon. Have a good weekend, let me know how I can help and, let’s go, Vikings!