ST. PAUL – Local business owners will soon face a tax increase of 15% or more unless the legislature acts, according to State Representative Rod Hamilton (R-Mountain Lake).
The tax increase Hamilton is trying to stop would be used to replenish the state’s Unemployment Insurance (UI) Trust Fund. When record-setting unemployment claims depleted this fund, the federal government loaned Minnesota more than $1 billion in assistance. Hamilton said that bill has come due, and without legislative action tax hikes on business owners will pay for it.
“Minnesota has billions of dollars waiting to be allocated either through surplus funding or federal COVID relief,” Hamilton said. “We could cut the check tomorrow and make things right for our local business owners, but political games may stand in the way of common sense.”
Hamilton, who serves as the Republican Lead on the Minnesota House Workforce and Business Development Policy and Finance Committee, said a bill that would allocate more than $1 billion in American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 funding to replenish the UI Trust Fund was recently given an informational hearing. He added that nearly all sides stand ready to act quickly to stop this tax increase from taking effect. However, he also noted that the House DFL majority is acting with little urgency and may be willing to turn the issue into a political football..
“House Democrats want the UI Trust fund bill to be packaged with other DFL priorities, which will obviously slow progress,” Hamilton said. “The Minnesota Senate is preparing to approve a stand-alone business owner tax relief bill, and it is imperative the Minnesota House follow suit. If that doesn’t happen before March 15, this unnecessary tax increase will take effect and the only people responsible for this increase will be Minnesota House Democratic leadership.”