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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Bob Dettmer (R)

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Wednesday, March 9, 2022

ST. PAUL – March 15 is the deadline to prevent unnecessary tax increases on every business owner in the state, but State Representative Bob Dettmer (R-Forest Lake) said House Democrats have shown no signs of wanting to remove this financial pain from local employers.


“House leadership has not moved at all on this issue,” Dettmer said. “There is absolutely no reason any local business owner should see their taxes jump when Minnesota has a $9.3 billion budget surplus at its disposal.”


Minnesota needs to replenish its Unemployment Insurance (UI) Trust Fund by more than $1 billion. Dettmer said available state surplus funds could be used for this purpose, as could federal COVID relief funding that totals more than $1 billion. If neither of these pots of money are utilized, the default repayment is tax increases on local business owners by 15% or more.


Last month, Governor Walz’s employment commissioner said March 15 was the deadline for the lawmakers to pass legislation and prevent significant tax increases on Minnesota businesses. Dettmer said the commissioner told the workforce committee that a failure to act would be an “unparalleled circumstance,” “unprecedented,” and would be “extremely difficult and administratively complex and cumbersome” for the State of Minnesota.


Since then, the Minnesota Senate approved a full UI repayment bill on an overwhelming 55-11 bipartisan vote three weeks ago, while House Democrat leadership has done nothing. 


“With a massive surplus, lawmakers can make this problem disappear very quickly,” Dettmer said. “Yet House Democrats are continuing to sit on their hands. Our employers cannot afford another financial hit, but that’s exactly what could happen in the coming days if the House majority continues to ignore this issue.”