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House fast-tracks tax relief

Friday, January 6, 2017


ST. PAUL – House Republicans have indicated tax relief would be a cornerstone of the 2017 session and it took them less than three days to start following through on their mission.

The House on Thursday fast-tracked into passage $21.7 million in immediate tax relief for Minnesotans by bringing the state’s tax code into compliance with federal provisions. This action was necessary by Jan. 11 in order for tax software programs to be updated in time for qualifying Minnesotans to take advantage of available reductions this tax season.

“This is just the very first step toward helping Minnesotans by correcting the careless and unreasonable tax increases Democrats passed when they had full control at the Capitol,” said Rep. Joe McDonald, R-Delano. “Much work remains on this subject and we will continue offering proposals for tax relief this session. But, for now, it is good to start the session on such a positive note by lessening the tax burden on citizens.”

Key provisions of the bill (H.F. 2) include:

  • Providing deductions for higher education expenses
  • Providing deductions for teacher classroom expenses up to $250
  • Excluding compensation from taxable income for those who were wrongfully incarcerated
  • Eliminating the need for two sets of depreciation schedules for those who purchase work equipment
  • Providing an itemized deduction for mortgage insurance premiums
  • Excluding from gross income loan forgiveness on home foreclosures
  • Allowing the tax paid on high-cost employer health care coverage to be claimed as an itemized deduction

Republicans also Thursday moved to bring to a vote the 2017 Health Care Emergency Aid and Access bill (H.F. 1), which would provide premium relief, extend access to doctors for continuity of care, and begin to reform the individual market. Democrats blocked the measure, despite agreeing days earlier to suspend the rules in order to expedite premium relief for Minnesotans.


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