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

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Legislative Update (March 24, 2014)

Monday, March 24, 2014

Dear neighbor,

Last week the legislature finally passed legislation that brings Minnesota’s tax code in alignment with some provisions of the federal tax code in tax year 2013, with the other major provisions starting in 2014. This bill also repeals the sales tax on commercial/industrial repair, warehousing and telecommunications machinery and equipment starting April 1, 2014. Governor Dayton signed the legislation on Friday.

Let’s take a trip down memory lane for a moment. In the final hours of the 2013 Legislative Session, the House voted on the Omnibus Tax Bill that had higher income taxes, new business-to-business taxes, and the authorization to build a luxurious new office building for state senators that will cost taxpayers $90 million. Republicans pointed out each of these issues to Democrat legislators during the floor debate, but Democrats voted to pass the bill anyway.

Soon thereafter, Republican legislators called for a special session during the summer to repeal the job-killing business-to-business taxes. Yet again, Democrats refused to agree to this.

Let’s fast forward to 2014 Legislative Session that began in February. Minnesota taxpayers have been looking to the legislature for some leadership as they prepare to file their taxes. Instead of passing federal conformity and repealing the business-to-business taxes (which suddenly became a popular idea among Democrat legislators) right away, Democrats were having an internal dispute about a wasteful, lavish, $90 million office complex for state senators.

While I’m happy that Minnesota taxpayers will be able to keep more of their hard-earned dollars, this bill truly fell short considering there is a $1.2 billion surplus. Notably absent items:

  • Increased Standard Deduction for married joint filers which would have saved 640,000 married couples an average of $112 per return for tax year 2013.
  • Retroactive repeal of business-to-business sales tax that went into effect in 2013 which would have returned $55.9 million to hardworking Minnesota taxpayers.

You will hear Democrats claim they passed a tax cut. The reality is that they simply reduced the size of the tax increase imposed on your family budget from the 2013 Legislative Session.

According to the Minnesota Department of Revenue, if you are affected by these tax changes and have already filed your return, one of three things will occur:

  • The Minnesota Department of Revenue will fix your return and send a letter explaining what was fixed
  • The Minnesota Department of Revenue will request more information from you so they can fix your return
  • The Minnesota Department of Revenue will notify you they cannot fix your return. If this happens, you will need to file an amended return.


Last week I spoke on the floor in favor of a 5% rate increase for persons with developmental disabilities as well as home and community-based service providers. After raising taxes by $2.1 billion and voting for a Senate office building that will cost $90 million for Minnesota taxpayers, Democrats neglected to properly fund our most vulnerable Minnesota citizens in 2013. I – along with my Republican colleagues – am seeking to fix yet another Democrat mistake of 2013.

If you have any questions about tax changes or concerns relating to any state legislative issue, please feel free to contact me by e-mail at Rep.Mary.Franson@House.MN or call my office at 651-296-3201. You can also send mail to my office address: 211 State Office Building, 100 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., St. Paul, MN 55155.