Greetings from the House. Here is a look at some of this week’s notes:
Ending state tax on Social Security
I am pleased to be sponsoring legislation fully repealing the state tax on Social Security, providing some breathing room for seniors – particularly those on fixed incomes.
Minnesota is one of just 12 states that still tax social security benefits. With a $17.6 billion state budget surplus, and price increases straining family budgets, the time is right for a full repeal. I have co-authored H.F. 136 to make that happen.
We are taxing this income twice and it’s doing a disservice to senior citizens and others on Social Security. People already paid payroll taxes on their Social Security, but the state still requires to list these benefits on their tax returns. Our state should not be an outlier on this issue by continuing this practice and ending this tax should be a top priority for this session.
Minnesota’s tax structure is unfriendly to retirees. Reports indicate Minnesota loses vastly more domestic residents to other states than it gains. Business and personal finance publisher Kiplinger lists Minnesota among its “not tax-friendly” states for retirees, indicating, “The North Star State offers cold comfort on the tax front to retirees.”
A full Social Security tax repeal would benefit an estimated 473,000 people with an average tax savings of $1,276. In contrast, Gov. Tim Walz’s budget proposal doesn’t fully repeal the state Social Security tax, with only 43% of Minnesotans receiving some form of relief – on average, $278 per household.
Let us acknowledge there always will be people who prefer to spend the winter season in warmer regions, but our tax code does play a factor in where they live upon retirement. Minnesota’s tax code encourages people to leave our state and that needs to change.
Democrats signaled they were all-in for a repeal of the Social Security tax last fall but now, more than a month in to the 2023 session, bills related to this subject have stayed on the back burner in the House.
I have received numerous inquiries regarding gun-control bills Democrats are moving through the House. Here is a look at some that have been at the forefront:
- HF 14: Universal Background Checks: Criminal background checks required for firearm transfers, and grounds modified for disqualification of transferee permit.
- HF 15: Red Flag Gun Confiscation Orders: Law enforcement and family members enabled to petition a court to prohibit people from possessing firearms if they pose a significant danger to themselves or others by possessing a firearm, and money appropriated.
- HF 396: Safe storage of firearms and ammunition required, locking device required to be included in each firearm transfer, and criminal penalties imposed.
I oppose these bills and will continue advocating for the Second Amendment and our constitutional rights in general. Stay tuned.
Until next time, have a good weekend and let me know how I can help.