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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Mary Franson (R)

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Legislative Update from Rep. Mary Franson

Friday, August 11, 2023

Dear Friends,

It’s hard to believe the summer has flown by so quickly and it is already August! I’ve rounded up some quick updates below, including information on how you can save money during back-to-school season.

Back-to-School Savings for Families 

Remember to save your receipts on school supply purchases to claim valuable K-12 tax benefits when filing your taxes next year. Two tax benefits can help families pay for education-related expenses: the refundable K-12 Education Credit (income limits apply) and the K-12 Education Subtraction (no income limits). 

 Most expenses for educational instruction or materials qualify, including:

  • Paper
  • Pens and notebooks
  • Textbooks
  • Rental or purchases of educational equipment such as musical instruments
  • Computer hardware (hotspots, modems, and routers) and educational software (up to $200 for the subtraction and $200 for the credit) *
  • After-school tutoring and educational summer camps taught by a qualified instructor

*Taxpayers who are not required to file an income tax return must do so in order to claim a refund for any eligible education credit.

In order to qualify for the K-12 Education Credit, families are subject to income limits:

Household Income for the K-12 Education Credit 

Number of qualifying children in K-12Household income must be less than
1 or 2$76,000
More than 3$79,000 plus $3,000 for each additional child

There are no income limits to qualify for the education subtraction. Most parents qualify. Parents can claim the K-12 Subtraction for tuition paid to private schools or college courses used to satisfy high school graduation requirements.

To learn more about the K-12 Education Credit and Subtraction, check out this helpful video.

Renter/Homeowner Refund 

The Tax bill passed during the 2023 legislative session increases refund amounts for the 2022 Homestead Credit Refund (for Homeowners) and Renter's Property Tax Refund (Form M1PR).

  • Refunds for homeowners and renters were increased by 20.572%. Taxpayers who already filed a 2022 Form M1PR may see a larger refund than originally claimed.
  • Homeowners may now qualify for a special (or "targeting") refund if their property tax increased by more than 6% — rather than 12% — from 2022 to 2023.

The income requirements have not changed for claiming either the Homestead Credit Refund or Renter's Property Tax Refund.

The Department of Revenue is updating their systems to automatically increase refunds on previously filed returns. Larger refunds are expected to be issued in mid-July for renters and mid-September for homeowners.

If you have not filed 2022 Form M1PR yet, review the 2022 Form M1PR instructions to see if you qualify for these refunds. If you qualify, complete the 2022 Form M1PR. For more information, see Filing for a Property Tax Refund. The final deadline to claim the 2022 refund is August 15, 2024.

For more information, learn more here.  

Democrats Take Credit for Nursing Home Funding

This week, Governor Walz along with House and Senate Democrat Leadership toured a nursing home facility to tout their efforts to increase funding for these facilities during the last legislative session. It’s funny how quickly Democrats have jumped to rewrite history.

Despite a $17.5 billion surplus, it took Republicans fighting tooth and nail to deliver $300 million in funding during the final hours of session to save our nursing homes. Had Republicans not intervened on behalf of Minnesota’s seniors, Democrats would have spent less than $4 million on fixing the nursing home crisis in our state. Democrats were more willing to spend $500 million for an office building for 134 legislators than to spend $300 million to support 27,000 seniors in nursing homes.

Democrats used our seniors as a bargaining chip at the end of session. It is immoral how they played politics with the lives of seniors, and they are disingenuous when they take a victory lap for an issue Republicans forced them to take action on.

Update on Marijuana Legalization

This week, I joined my House Republican colleagues in sending a letter to Governor Walz and House and Senate Democrat Leadership to voice our disappointment in their unwillingness to address problems with the 2023 Marijuana Legalization law. As you may know, legalization took effect on August 1, but there are many gaps, contradictions, and loopholes in the law, particularly regarding minors who consume marijuana.

Democrats have failed to address our concerns and are seemingly fine with the lack of protections for minors. Steps need to be taken to resolve issues that are important to parents, law enforcement, and community leaders across Minnesota. You can read our full letter here.